[A super old-school TRS group member passed away tragically yesterday. The following is an edited-for-public-consumption version of a tribute to him. -SS]
I wasn't going to post this here, because in all honesty I am incredibly insecure about displaying emotions like grief, despair, and sorrow. But, we all seem to be in that boat, so I'm not feeling so weak about expressing it.
I am an orphan. I have several sisters, but I hardly ever see any of them, and 3 of them I have never met. Family bonds have never meant very much to me, as I have found through life experience that bonds in friendship and brotherhood (genetic or not) can be as strong, if not stronger, than blood ties.
When I first met Adam, about 3-4 years ago, we were fast friends. Very similar in many regards, but with enough differences to keep us "at odds", but in a friendly type of rivalry. Many of you have probably seen us bicker about the merits of Rome vs the Barbarians, as we history spergs are wont to do. But beyond being a good friend, Adam was much more. I have never had biological brothers, but I always kind of longed for having an older brother, and in all frankness, Adam filled that role. He was always more than happy to offer me advice and counsel, regardless of whatever problem or issue I was dealing with. Drug addiction? He knew that pain. Solitude and loneliness? He'd been there, done that. Pretty much anything under the sun, he had an answer for, or at least some words to make me worry less. Hell, when I complained of financial woes several weeks ago, the guy straight up OFFERED me, no questions asked, several hundred bucks just to help me "get on my feet". I declined, as a matter of pride, but the gesture meant so much to me. My own blood relatives tell me to go fuck myself, and here is a friend, no, a brother, who so freely and unquestioningly offers his aid and support.
Adam was always someone I turned to for advice, to vent, or to simply banter about history or politics. I really don't know if I'll ever have another friend like him. I'm devastated, as time and time again when those close to me pass, I am reminded that for all my gifts, my strengths, that there is nothing I can do, in the face of Death, I am powerless.
Adam and I shared many gifts, and we also shared many insecurities. The want for wife and children, stable home and career. A want for a return to simpler, happier times.
I cannot stop death. I cannot fight death. But what I can do is carry on for my fallen brother. To live my life in the way he encouraged me to, to pursue with burning heart the things he and I both aspired to have. In my mind and life, at least, Adam is now joining the ranks of my mother and grandfather, and all the others who have helped shaped who I am as a person, who are no longer with me.
The Victorious Sun will never stop shining as long as I breathe.