Nickerson is in a full foot and calf cast and can't walk much. Ashleigh phoned Matt and he was on his way with Zach. Jon was dealing with an overflowing toilet but would make it soon. We then saw Sam and met his girlfriend. A pale young man named Michael joined us, and hauntingly reminded me of Adam. He said he knew Adam, but not well. Brent and his wife Kallie completed the group, and I was happy for the great showing of support and caring, most of these 'kids' were at Adam's memorial service in 2016, and I didn't get to talk to them much at all, so this opportunity each year is especially important to me.
(some thought it was macabre to pose with goofy props)
After the Walk I had reservations at Kiku, the first restaurant that Adam worked at in Springfield, but they didn't open until 4:30 and it was only a little after 3. The group decided to meet for a drink at Mowie's Cue, a pool hall/pub near the UIS campus they were all familiar with. It turned out to be a great way to kill time, as several played pool, and everyone relaxed and broke into different groups to talk. Brent was especially gregarious, partially because he grew up near Macomb and lived here for awhile. He easily regaled us with Tut stories, and it was really nice he was so natural talking about him.
Having a shot of Crown for Adam
We all met after that at Kiku where most of the party had hibachi at two big grills at our table. It was fun, relaxed, and easy, and I am so grateful to these guys to take the time to fellowship together. It seemed kind of a like a reunion for many of them, as they graduated college several years ago and have gone in separate directions. It's clear that there was a pretty strong bond among them, which again, made me feel happy for Adam. Sherry, the owner whom Adam had worked for, gave me a huge discount and hugs. I know she felt terrible about Adam's suicide.
Matt from Arizona, Michael (doppleganger), Brent (before the fire)
Ned Nickerson and Nick or Joe Jonas at Kiku
This morning on the way from the hotel to Michael's for a bit of shopping, I felt that sinking feeling after the high. I saw the Men's Wearhouse where Adam was fitted for his tux for Eli's wedding during the last month of his life. Reality set in. The only reason for yesterday's high, was Adam's low. He kept this life in Springfield separate from us, and it is gratifying to know his friends were such good people, and we heard some new Tut stories. However, as Betsy said, I would trade knowing all these friends of Adam to have him back. It was a long ride back to Macomb, but I'm feeling as well as I believe I can under the circumstances. Two amazing weekends surrounded by warm hearts and lots of love.