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Adam’s Day

ist1_9364531-white-stargazer-lily-flower-petals-isolated-on-black-close-up-copyspaceDear Readers, This will column is difficult to read–was harder to write and impossible to experience. This is written in memory of Adam, my twenty-six-year-old nephew who was ADD.

I was asleep when Adam died today. That’s not “died” like an ember who pulled himself quietly from the vital, burning elements of community, and curled in on himself in a lonely cold ball of coal. No, he was blown out like a flame on the wick of a candle in one quick puff, with much too much candle left unburned. The smoking gun, the snuffer, lay loosely in his hand.

And I slept.

When they told me Adam killed himself, I knew they were wrong. Had to be wrong. Couldn’t be true. NO! Not Adam! No. He’s so smart. He’s been so hurt, so disappointed in life. So alone.

But we loved him, didn’t we? I thought he would grow and we would be there for him…Please tell him he can’t leave. Let me try to be more to you, Adam. Stay for me?

God, You wouldn’t let him leave? Would you?


I can’t bear it. It’s too sad, too dark, too hard…

The pain and shame of my state hang from my shoulders like a sandwich board, announcing the obvious; “Here, before your eyes, walks the bologna between the boards, the putrid presence of the one who sleeps.”

How could I sleep like the apostles in the garden while One weeps? Where was I when Adam cried out? Why didn’t I hear? Did God hear him? If so, why didn’t He tell me? Why didn’t He give me one of those spiritual nudges that I know for so many little things like, “Take your allergy medicine when you go on this overnighter.” Or “Turn down this road on your way to the bank—I want you to see the blossoming tree there with Me.” Why do I hear those small prompts and not the death wail of my precious nephew?

Oh… my arms are so empty tonight, Adam. I would enfold you to my bosom and warm those cold fingers in my hands. When did you decide this world held no hope for you? Why didn’t you come to me? I have so much to share. One word, Adam, and I would have given you anything I had. Oh, my darling, darling boy.

(Written three days later)

A few dramatic moments in my life changed the course of its flow like a huge rockslide into a little creek. Such a moment was 9-11. I woke early, dressed quickly for work, but before I left, I knocked on a neighbor’s door to ask for directions. She threw the door open and spoke through pale lips, “Come on in. Our world has changed forever.” She was right.

I realize I have come to another milestone that will shape the future of everything I do for the rest of my life. Adam charmed me when he came to Oregon for a wedding some four years ago. I received several phone calls from him after the visit. I loved his sunny voice, his bravado in the face of pain, his candor and limitless optimism for life. Well, not quite limitless. Somehow, I didn’t know Adam well enough to know his desolation when it came. I was not faithful in calling him to “just see how you are.” This dark hour will never leave me.

But it’s the hard places in life that shape the person I am becoming. I know now, I will never really sleep again. May it never be. May God remind me for Adam’s sake, that we all have days of desolation. May my “Adam alarm” be fueled by unselfish zeal to listen more carefully, to watch more closely, and to love deeper the people God has placed in my path. To that end, may I be.

©2010 Marianne Miles. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

*Copyrighted back columns are available for reading in archives of Comfort Cafe. Contact Marianne for reprint availability.

Marianne Miles is a free lance writer intent on bringing comfort to mom’s of special needs kids. As she and her husband raised their children, including a son with special needs, Marianne developed a passion to support hurting mothers. Her message revolves around the love and provision of God, even in times of trial. Marianne has worked as a volunteer in the public schools, home school mom, and a teacher in a private school. She writes on the subjects of family and education in the form of devotionals, magazine articles, and poetry. Marianne welcomes reader’s comments and publisher’s questions at Marianne_Miles@yahoo.com.