A Love Letter To Adam
We tend to associate full life with longevity. The relationship
is a lot more complex. So many people get into their seventies and
eighties without experiencing more than tepid existence. And then
there are people who pack much more zest and make more of an
impression in a fraction of that time. When a chum of mine died
unexpectedly at 20 a whole college was devastated. My children lost a
beloved neighbor at 13. Born with spina bifida, Chy did not let
disability break her spirit or slow her down. Sometimes her
wheelchair seemed more like a motorcycle.
I really wish I could have met Adam Hodge in his brief time on
this earth. Fortunately his mother, Maureen, has seen fit to share
his story with us in A Love Letter To Adam: Our Family's Journey
through Childhood Cancer.
Adam was one of the children born with old souls and very
advanced social skills and empathy. Before he was born people on his
family's street stayed pretty much to themselves. When he came into
the picture a real neighborhood began to form around him. A little
boy, Andrew, born a year and a half after him, became his best friend.
As the son of two physical education teachers, Adam became
introduced to sports at an early age. The whole family enjoyed Bangor
High basketball games. One day when his mom had to step away for a
moment Adam joined the cheerleaders down on the court and imitated
their moves. The coach was delighted and invited him to join the
team. He was a cheerleader for the Bangor Rams and earned a varsity
letter before he even entered kindergarten.
Sadly Adam's exceptionality was soon put to a grueling test.
When he was four, red flag symptoms--bruising, pallor, lethargy--had
his mother taking him to the doctor for an exam and blood test. Her
worst fears were confirmed. The diagnosis was leukemia. In the few
years left to him, Adam had to undergo more painful procedures than
most of us have to face through adulthood. He did so with courage and
dignity, able to reach beyond himself to help others who were suffering.
Maureen had to live with a lot of uncertainty in a cycle of
remission, relapse, and desperate measures. She never forgot that
Adam was a little boy who deserved to enjoy his childhood as much as
possible. Her decisions were based on quality as well as length of
life. She would like readers to see that even in his worst times he
was able to experience happiness and convey it to others.
When I read the book I was moved to tears at some points and was
filled with joy at others. When I came to the final page I had more
of a sense of the transcendence of the human soul that I could glean
from all Pastor Steve and Pastor Lorna's sermons put together.
If you are in possession of a loving heart and a caring soul, A
Love Letter To Adam is simply a must read.
On a personal note, Adam Hodge reminds me so much of my Adam. Once
when my little guy was in elementary school he read about a UMaine
fraternity sleep out to raise awareness and money for a cause. He
decided he wanted to stay the night. I think the hubby thought I was
a few fries short of a happy meal to take him. It was February in
Maine. (I was there the night too. And I had privately made sure
he'd be welcome and there'd be no alcohol.). But he and the college
guys had a great time sledding, making a cardboard and odds and ends
clubhouse, and building and maintaining a bonfire. I have a feeling
Adam Hodge would have joined in and Maureen would have let him.
A great big shout out goes out to Maureen for sharing her experiences
and feelings so openly and both our Adams for bringing joy to our lives.
I'd also like to thank my author friend, Lynn Plourde. We had quite
an econversation while I was reviewing her Maxi's Secrets. Two points
she made especially stirred me to think in a new way that helped me do
justice to A Love Letter To Adam. One was that relationships live on
even after a person dies. The other concerned how honestly
acknowledging the loss of a loved one honors the bigness of that loved
one in our lives. Maureen surely accomplished that!
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