Tuesday, May 11, 2010

In My 20s Tuesday + Post-It Notes

In My 20s Tuesday is all about things that should matter (maybe) to someone in their 20s. It's about life as we head into real adulthood. It's about laying the groudwork for a life: starting a career, setting up a home, starting a life with someone, etc. It's about things that will affect our lives down the road: politics, current events, pop culture, etc. Well, it's not about all those things at once (that'd be near impossible, lol). But hopefully it will reach someone in their 20s who's looking for someone to feel them and what they're going through. Here goes!

This post is inspired by Classy In Philadephia's blog. She's currently writing a series of blogs about her years of college since she graduates on Thursday! Her blog is great, I think most everyone who reads my blog also reads hers, but if you don't, she's so cute and funny, check it out!
I was inspired by her blog to finally post about something really big that happened in my life and has played a large role in defining who I am. Lots of us 20-somethings go through experience in "the college years" that become a part of how we define ourselves. This usually happens whether or not we actually go to college.
What happened to me is the story of how Adam and I ended. I've mentioned him a lot more on my other blog, Simply.Saucy.Sexy., than I have on this one or even my blog about my love life. Mostly because my blog focuses a lot on the present rather than six years ago. But, feeling inspired, I am going to tell the story.
My freshman year of college was the first time I learned about Relay for Life. I went because I had family members battling cancer, and I was so glad that I had Adam there with me (there's actually a mention of him a couple posts, but the one I linked is probably the most interesting). He and I spent so much time together and I leaned on him to get through feeling helpless by being all the way in Florida while my great-grandmother was in Chicago sick.
I went on March 20, 2004 to visit her, basically to say goodbye. Top was supposed to give me a ride to the airport, but she had left her cell phone in her room and had the time wrong. Long story short, I missed my plane. By the time I got to Chicago, it was past visiting hours and I was told I'd have to go the next day. While having breakfast the next morning before going to see my grandma, we get the news that she passed during the night. I was devastated that I never got to say goodbye. But Adam, as always, was there to make me feel better.
Adam was from Memphis and I was from Chicago, so when we went home, we knew we weren't going to spend that much time together during the summer. In an effort to alleviate this, I took and internship in Nashville which wasn't super close to Memphis, but was a hell of a lot closer than Chicago. We spent a weekend together and it was lovely. Then we found out the apartment Adam wanted with his friends had come through. I decided to go down to Florida with him to help set up the apartment. His mother was on vacation in southern Florida and she was going to come up too to help get the place settled. His mother and I got along great so it was sure to be a lovely weekend. I wanted to be very considerate and not have him drive over to Nashville to come get me (missing most of Friday because I had class as part of the internship), so I decided to take Greyhound bus down to Florida after class and meet him.
On June 25, 2004, I spoke to him about 4:45 in the morning before he got on the road.I was texting him throughout class with no response, and then I called him while I was packing my bags and still no response. I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach that something was wrong, but I shrugged it off. Finally, I had wondered myself into enough to worry to call another one of our friends who was also moving into the apartment to see if he knew where Adam was. He said he didn't know but that one of Adam's old roommates said he had heard something was wrong and I should call his mother to find out if he was in the hospital or something.
This really freaked me out, especially since I had just dropped my phone from the third floor to the first floor of the library two weeks prior and didn't have Adam's mother's cell phone number. I called my mother to get it from her and so had to relate the story before I knew the whole story. I headed to the bus station with full intentions of going to Florida (where I assumed Adam was). I told myself even if he had a bad accident and was now a paraplegic, I would still love him and stand by him no matter what. My mother finally called me back with his mother's number. I call her and tell her it's me and the first thing out her mouth is. "My baby is dead."
I immediately burst into silent tears as I listen to her tell me the story. About 30 minutes after he and I got off the phone, he got into a car accident. His car hydroplaned and went off the highway and into a tree (that had killed 4 others besides him up to that point. The tree has since been cut down). He died upon impact with the tree. I felt incredibly numb, just sitting there in the bus station. After I got off the phone with her, I went back outside and got a taxi back to campus. There was no need of going to Florida if his mother was on her way to Mississippi to get the body. I just went back to campus. I called my parents and our friend to inform them of what happened. I told my new friends at the internship what happened and then curled into a little ball on the bed all weekend. I did make occasional calls to important people who had lots of other's phone numbers so they could spread the word.
It was, to this day, the most painful thing I've ever felt. I cannot describe the hurt I felt to lose the first guy I had ever really loved in such a way. Even now, almost six years later, I can't think about it without wanting to cry, and hardly anything makes me want to cry. It's a very short list: Adam's death so close after my grandma's death, anytime my brother is rude to me, when I feel frustrated that I'm failing at something.
But I became stronger because of it. I finished my internship even though my parents thought maybe I should come home for the rest of the summer. I started a book scholarship in his name at our school that went to a member of our graduating class each semester. I worked hard at not being afraid to love again (experience since then has shown I didn't do too good a job of that). I didn't give up on my dreams even though I just wanted to stay curled in that little ball for the rest of forever. Sometimes, when it's just me all alone, I do curl up into that ball, and I forget that there are times when I don't remember how much I miss him.
I guess the moral of the story is, bad things happen. It sucks, it truly sucks, but it doesn't mean you can stop living your life to the fullesst. It means you deal with it the best way you know how, and you try and become a stronger person because of it. Anyone who can make it out of their 20s without going through something catastrophic is lucky indeed.

7 New Hypotheses:

Oh wow, I can't imagine going through something like that, that is truly heartbreaking.


Thanks for sharing your story about Adam; I can't imagine how difficult that must have been for you, and still continues to be sometimes.

You're absolutely right: our 20s are a time of great change, growth and unpredictable things... some good, some bad. We have to just absorb the blows as best we can and keep moving forward.


It's definitely a big thing in my life that happened. Thanks for hearing my story guys.


That's such a sad story. I'm impressed that you managed to carry straight on with life... I wouldn't have the strength to do that.


I was definitely doing the numbly-going-through-the-motions-thing for the next six months.

I was surprised with the strength I had in dealing with what happened, but you never know until you get into such a situation how well you could handle it.


This is heartbreaking... What a tragic loss that no one should ever have to go through. I'm so sorry lady!


Thanks, You know, it's because I went through this that I know anyone can find strength within themselves to handle whatever like throws at them.

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