recently a friend passed away. here are my thoughts.
You really were a special person, a person whose candle burned brighter than most. Everyone who knew you; loved you. Since you’ve passed away I’ve remembered most your friendly handshakes and tight hugs. Your confident stride. Jokes and big laughs. Always Cullen in one arm and Finn in hand. The “Lil’ Kickers Summer Soccer” you planned, organized, and executed with 55 families on your email list. Lil’ Kickers was completely your element. Your boys and 30 more, parents and siblings in tow, all being physical and fun on the soccer field. “Open Gym” that you basically organized, always pulling out all the tumbling equipment and basketballs when you arrived. How you greeted each child with some funny joke or tickle. Even my Joseph. Usually you swopped all solid 50 pounds of Joseph up in your arms and over your head. I don’t think there was an Open Gym that Joseph and a half dozen other preschoolers didn’t pile on top of you for a ruckus wrestle. Yet, somehow you miraculously kept it under control and an eye on Cullen. Sometimes I would be wary as you and Joseph got crazy, but you always told me not to worry. You could control his wild energy better then most anyone. And, of course the bear caves you made! How can there be an Open Gym without you? A playgroup? Soccer? If there was a problem, you solved it. Something to be done, you did it. A new person, you welcomed them. A shy child, you hugged them. If some needed a ride, you volunteered right away. If someone was going though hard times, you asked and listened and then invited the children over. Your offers were often so generous I didn’t really believe you, but they were sincere. There was Finn and Cullen’s combined 3 and 1 year old birthday party where you invited absolutely everyone at playgroup, all the neighbor kids, and more. Your house overflowed and it was a zoo, but so. much. fun. A big party, for the kids, just your way (including a large spread of many healthy snacks and your favorite carrot cake muffins that you lovingly prepared). I remember how you walked in the room, all energy and smiles, and all the kids swarmed you. How you taught your boys to call me “Mrs. Ruth.” How you cooked muffins or applesauce or something healthy and yummy even at spontaneous play dates, with all the kids helping of course.
Anyone who didn’t know you will not think this could not all be true, that it must be exaggerated, but all who knew you would say the same thing. Since your death I have often thought to myself, I should do better, be kinder, more generous, more lighthearted, more understanding and happy, as Adam would have been. I knew we were lucky to have you at the heart of our small, tight community, but I didn’t say it enough. I hope you knew even half of how loved and appreciated you were. I think we are all still in shock that you are gone and mourn above all that your boys and Caitlin must live life now without you. However, you chose Caitlin because she is your equal in kindness, generosity, and loving. Watching her with Finn and Cullen these sad days I see that they will be OK.
You still endure for me though, Adam, and for all who knew and loved you, as an example and inspiration of how to really live life.