(Photo courtesy of Ange Fitzgerald)
It was a year ago today that I sat down at my computer, and browsed through Facebook right before I thought I was going to go to bed. That's when I discovered the news: Adam Carter, bass player for Spector 45, The Marfalites, Somebody's Darling, and The Felons (and too many others to list), was no longer with us.
In the year that has followed, I have wrestled with what to say about Adam, just as I have wrestled with my own feelings on his death. My first initial reaction was anger. After knowing the way that Frankie 45's death affected the community, I was angered that he would leave us in the same manner.
I thought back on our last conversation, the Monday right before his death. He was still in tremendous pain over the loss of his best friend, Frankie. The last thing I said to him was "call me if you need anything." Some of that anger I felt was directed at the fact that he never took me up on that offer. Then I started thinking about how people say that phrase so casually, almost like "let's do lunch". I feared that he may have not understood that when I said that, I meant it from the bottom of my heart. I meant it in that had he called me at three in the morning, that I would have been there to do whatever was humanly possible in my power to help him. And so began the wrestling with my own guilt, feeling that I had failed him as a friend. Turns out, I was not the only one dealing with these issues. Last December, I was with a group of his friends, and the conversation turned to Adam. Every one of us felt that there was something that could have been done differently. While I have mostly come to terms with my personal issues, what lingers is the sadness. There has not been a day that has gone by in that year where Adam has not entered my mind and where I have not missed him deeply.
Adam was a complex individual, and he certainly struggled with his demons. Even with that, however, there was a true ray of light and sunshine that beamed from Adam. He was always the first one to bring a laugh or smile to your face, even when you were down. He was also an excellent listener; many a times we consoled each other in regards to heartbreak. What I will remember the most about Adam is how truly supportive he was of his friends. At the memorial service last year, I remember someone saying that when they were with Adam, that person felt like the most important person in the world to him. That was a sentiment shared by more than one person, and a feeling that I can say I shared. Before hearing those stories, I thought it was a comment on how special I was. In reality, the truly special one was Adam. The joy he brought into my life and those of his friends, bandmates, and family was a true gift. Such gifts in life are rare, and I am genuinely thankful for the time that I had to know Adam.
So tonight, take the advice shared on the Spector 45 Facebook page. At 8:05 pm tonight, let us raise a glass in memory of a truly beautiful soul.
(Also, I feel compelled to say this: if anyone reading this is struggling with depression and/or contemplating suicide, PLEASE call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or check out the Texas Suicide Prevention webpage.)