I got a message in Facebook this morning from the niece of one of the best friends I’ve ever had. When I opened my Facebook and saw a message from her I smiled. What I saw when I opened the message was something I had hoped I would never see. My friend Adam had passed away.
I was really good friends with Adam’s brother, Chris. Through that friendship Adam and I also became dear friends. I’ve been in Japan for 20 years and my family has all moved away from my hometown. Every time I would return Adam’s house is where I would stay. One time, I had planned a trip home and I talked to Adam’s wife and let her know I was coming, but told her not to tell him because I wanted to surprise him. My flight wouldn’t arrive until the early evening so I thought it might be really funny for him to get home from work, find that she wasn’t there, call her and let her tell him that she was just out doing something and would be home later. Would be even better if she could piss him off a little. Then, she would meet us at the airport and when she arrived home, and he was well steaming, I’d walk through the door. It was the perfect plan. Around that time I also needed to go to the dentist while I was there so I called and made an appointment and gave their address and phone number as my contact info. Little did I know that they would call 3 days prior to my visit to confirm that I had the appointment. What I also didn’t expect was that he would be the one answering the phone. This plan had been in place for months and 3 days prior to my arrival the damned dentist screwed it up for me. Of course I had no idea. So, I show up at the airport, his wife is waiting as we had planned, and off we went. We got about half way down the concourse when someone rushed up from behind me and jumped on my back. They did the old switcheroo on me. I actually walked right past him and didn’t even see him. He was standing at a pay phone with his back to me when I walked by. I didn’t even notice.
I’ve got tons of memories of him that I could start into, but I doubt the internet is big enough to hold the sheer volume of it. Every memory I have of my teenage years, he is involved in some way shape or form. I just went looking through my Facebook pictures and almost every picture from back then has him in it with me. We were pretty much inseparable. Now, if you’re reading this, you’re more than likely someone that has known me since those days and you know how close we were. You probably also know that his brother Chris died back in 1999. To give anyone that doesn’t know us an idea of how close we were, when Chris died they called me literally within minutes of them finding out themselves. I practically lived at their house my junior and senior years of high school. I literally spent more time at their house than I did at my own, and that is not an exaggeration. Even now, it took a little longer, but they got with me directly so I wouldn’t find out through Facebook chatter. And it was still within a few hours.
Funny story to accompany this picture. I know exactly when this was taken. August 26th, 1989. I had gone to my company picnic that day and met my wife to be while there. After the picnic I caught up with everyone else at the camp site. I remember clearly telling him and Chris that I had met my future wife. 6 months later she and I were married and a year later I was in Japan.
One thing I want to set straight right now is that he died of heart failure. Everyone that knew Adam knows that he had his demons. That had absolutely nothing to do with this. He has been on the straight road for about 2 years now. I don’t want any nasty rumors going around. I got first hand information that he basically had heart failure. His heart was enlarged and he had fluid in his lungs. Something that could happen to any of us.
Adam, I’m gonna miss you, man. I was so hoping that you could eventually get over here to hang out with me for a while. We talked about it the last time we were on the phone. I really wish it could have happened. You were such a huge part of my life and I hate thinking about a world without you in it.
To Adam’s family, I don’t think I even have to tell you how sorry I am. Please keep in touch with me.
I love you, man. Rest in peace. I hope you’re up there looking down on me. You know, it’s so strange, but yesterday, my time, probably around the time this happened, I was shooting a video for YouTube and when I watched it back I could hear your voice in mine. I literally thought when I heard it “That sounds like Adam.” How strange. Makes you wonder.
I’m turning the light down for now, but y’all come back.
Sleep well, Amigo!!
I’m going to add to the story a little. This picture was taken at Chi Chi’s, a Mexican restaurant in Cincinnati. On one of my trips home we got the friends together and we all went out for dinner. Chi Chi’s was the type of place that, if someone had a birthday, they’d get all the staff together, roll up on the birthday person in full force, plop that goofy hat on them and sing Happy Birthday loud enough for the entire restaurant to hear. It really was embarrassing. I couldn’t resist…..and to be truthful, it wasn’t anywhere near his birthday. I just wanted to get him. I went and told the staff that we have a birthday at our table and to give us the works and then I pointed him out. The look on his face when they plopped that sombrero down on him was priceless. And he knew exactly where it came from, and made sure to call me every name in the book, lovingly, as they were singing and he was being stared at by about 100 other customers. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but knowing how we were with each other, I probably said something like “C’mon, Pedro, give us a smile” and this pic was taken. Priceless moment that I will never forget.