I didn't really have much of a mom growing up, or I did but I didn't really have a good mom when I was growing up, or even a decent one. In fact my childhood was downright terrible. I had no conception of what a healthy relationship looked like, much less a healthy family. When I met Adele at the beginning of my ninth grade school year I didn't really know what to make of her. She was harsh but not critical, real but not negative. She was kind in a way that was unconditional. Our relationship strengthened when she dragged Greg out with her to see me play shows with my band. I had been kicked out of my house by then and they would bring me bags of groceries. Around that time they took me to see Ben Folds Five at Cats Cradle and they introduced me to their children. The way in which they treated their children was pretty amazing to me. With patience and respect, and expecting them to do the things that kids do. It was awesome. I had begun writing poetry regularly at this point and would constantly call Adele to read her new poems. She would be harsh but not critical. She would be real. She would continue to listen to my poetry and help me with it for the rest of her life. I am a pretty decent poet because of her, but most importantly I am a pretty decent father and a man that I can be proud of. All of this was due to Adele. In her last hours I spent a lot of time rubbing her hands and arms and telling her how much her actions had changed not only my life, but the lives of my children and the lives of their children and on and on. I'm not sure she heard it all but I like to think so because it is an amazing and undeniable truth. I would like to share the last poem that I ever shared with Adele about 3 months ago as I was trying to process what was happening with her.
The way my eye catches a crow
cutting across the predawn sky
makes it clear that I've been lost.
I am almost completely alone
and the wheels vibration is a zen
that belongs only to this hour.
As the road disappears beneath
I am realizing that soon there will be a world
without you in it and I must somehow
learn to live in that world.
Light is touching everything
in this world now
and a wall of trees hides the sun
like the curtains on a stage.
And the star that will someday die
waits for it's time on that stage.
Cresting a hill the trees give way
to a fire that devours me
and I disappear into the flames.
I love you so, so much Adele. I will always be so thankful for you. The way that I live my life and raise my kids will be a tribute to you daily.