I remember the first time I met Adam, an intelligent, handsome, energetic, funny, tall, brilliant man. He had my full attention after he smiled and said his first ‘hello.’ We talked about life, about working internationally, about his interest in doing micro-enterprise work in Africa someday. I suggested he look into applying to the Peace Corps. Before I knew it, he had completed the application process and was accepted to go to Africa this fall.
I’ve learned a lot more about Adam recently. Since his tragic death in a hiking accident in Alaska on June 11, I’ve heard about the impact and impressions he left on people he met. He was a special friend, a generous person, a great Swing Dancer (he danced the shoes off many gals in his lifetime), a good listener, and someone who made you smile and laugh. And he was very determined to life lived fully, which is what he did.
Here’s what some of Adam’s friends have said about him: ‘It’s impossible to express how much Adam’s friendship meant to us, how highly we thought of him. He was a rare soul whose generosity, wisdom, and spirit are seldom matched.’
‘I’ll never forget Adam’s laughter. Such a good friend, good listener, and he always brought a smile to those around him.’
‘We were honored to work with Adam. His passion, wit and creativity were wonderful. His death has left a huge hole in the hearts of all who knew him, and the world will be emptier without Adam.’
‘Adam was known as a man of vast experience. He was a sensitive soul who used sharp, hilarious sarcasm and was a dreamer on a continuous search for new possibilities.’
‘Adam truly and deeply impacted everyone. He was so witty, funny, and sarcastic. He literally brightened the room as he walked in. I never saw him displaying any emotion aside from pure joy.’
‘It is said that the ancient Greeks measured the success of someone’s life not by what they had but by the passion they displayed. I can say that by this standard Adam was one of the most successful people ever.”
I leave this message for Adam. ‘Although your days here with us were far too brief, your spirit was so alive, so awake, so enthusiastic. You truly put smiles and laughter like flowers into our hearts. Your brilliant mind sparkled with wonder at life’s surprises. Adam, may you continue to inspire us so we too will approach each day with an open and generous heart. Like you, may we serve others with courage and love. Like you, may we also not die an unlived life.’
Beloved Giver of Life, may we learn to be a little more like Adam – alive, awake, enthusiastic. May we be open to serving others with a deep love and with courage. Yes, may we make a decision to live our life fully and not to die an unlived life. Amen.