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As thoughts of November and Thanksgiving approach, so do memories of how hard that time was 3 years ago.

3 years ago, this November, I said goodbye to one of the best guys I’ve ever been able to call my friend.

I had to say goodbye far too soon.

Adam was so young.  I was so young.  Which is why, I still have those moments when it all comes back to me. The pain. The tears. The questions. The memories.  The anger.

And I still don’t get it.

I will never get it.

How can someone, with so much life in front of them, take their own life?

At first I was so mad, I couldn’t even let myself be sad.

Then I went through the grieving stage.

Now I just try to remember the good times.The laughter and memories we shared.  And the person he was.

I wish Adam was still here.  I wish I could see his smiling face one last time and make him realize how much he meant to so many people.

But I know that I can’t.  I can’t bring him back.

But I am so thankful for the lessons that he taught me in his life and death.

So this year when that painful day approaches, I am going to strive to share with others the lessons Adam taught me. And the way he changed my life for the better.

The kindness, the laughter, the stubbornness, and the individuality that no one else mastered quite the way Adam did; made him one of a kind. These are characteristics that everyone should get the chance to have in a friend.  He truly brought out the sunshine in everyone around him.

Adam and me never had the typical friendship. And there were lots of people who never realized how close we had really become.  Adam & me didn’t need to proclaim our friendship to the world. Our friendship started years after knowing each other, through mutual friends who were dating. We started out solely as bar buddies the last summer we were both in Pierre. Then we transformed to being friends, despite the distance between us. We were just simply there for each other through text, msn, and phone conversations as we were both facing the fear of growing up. Fear of what we were going to do after college.

He was the first person to call me after I took the GRE. He knew I had been stressing about it to the extreme.  I was nearly in tears when I answered the phone because I was so mad at myself for how bad I did. He wouldn’t even let me whine though.  He asked me if I felt prepared when I walked in. When I said, “yeah,” he told me that it was all that mattered.  I had done my best. And that was going to be enough. He knew I needed to calm down and had the ability to calm me in seconds.  Without really saying much that I didn’t know. But it was reassuring coming from him.

After I graduated from college the May before he left us, we grew apart. He had a new girlfriend and I was back in Pierre for one last fun summer before starting graduate school. But even though our conversations faded to once every couple months, I still thought of Adam as one of my closest friends. I always will. We didn’t need to talk every day or even see each other more than a few times a year to be friends.  We just were.

Adam truly taught me to believe in myself during that trivial time of my senior year of college. To trust myself. And most of all he believed in me.  And that’s not to say that other friends didn’t believe in me too, but Adam just had this way of doing so and making you really feel it.

And in Adam’s unexpected death, he taught me to love fully.  To live each day to the extreme.  To never wait to tell people how much they mean to me. To lean on those around me when needed. And to always be myself.  Life is far too short to be anything, but happy.

So this year as I remember & miss Adam. I hope to share with others the lessons he taught me.  I hope to be the friend that Adam was to me, to at least one person. I hope to share his life the way it should be remembered.

So in memory of Adam and all the amazing memories I have with him; I’m gonna smile my best smile and I’m gonna laugh like it’s going out of style.