My brother Adam was a vibrant sole, very intelligent always making good grades and self-teaching himself how to play his guitar. Adam was the youngest of three and only boy, his musical talents were above anyone else’s in the family, his love and passion for politics, and wanting the world to be a better place. Music was his therapy throughout his battle with mental illness. My brother lost his battle May 20, 2012 at 21 years old, one month shy of his 22nd birthday and my wedding. He picked out a song to play while I walked down the aisle, “Waiting on an angel”, by Ben Harper. We pushed out the wedding to the end of the year and I still walked down the aisle to the song he had chosen. Adam had friends on every corner in our neighborhood growing up and I remember picking him up from his friend’s house 2 blocks over, when I mean picking up, riding bikes home together. My sister Autumn, myself, and Adam used to chase the ice cream truck down the second we heard it in the neighborhood, sometimes it was more fun just trying to find it.
I have become an advocate for mental illness through Nami (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention). My brother was about helping others and through him we carry on his name with my family to help others who battle with a mental illness.
It has been four years yet it feels like yesterday, the impact has been life altering for my family. Life is so precious, you’re never guaranteed tomorrow. We incorporated a symbol that our family uses a lot, the Faith Hope and Charity symbol. It’s the perfect representation of who he was as a caring and loving person. We are apart of two walks in the fall for Nami and Out of Darkness and have team shirts made with his symbol. In honor of Adam: Be kind to one another, love, have faith, and pay it forward.
And here is the piece that I ended up creating for Amber and her family. I really wanted to incorporate Adam's love for guitar as well as Amber's tattoo that her, her mother and her sister all share which symbolizes faith, hope and charity.