Time…Paradoxically, our best friend and our worst enemy! What control we venture to imagine we have over Time can be shattered in an instant, by a quirk of fate that comes unexpectedly, without a hint of warning, and shifts the direction of our endeavors and volition. The contributors to The Institute of Spiritual Climate Newsletter were rocked to the core by the sudden, unexpected passing of our youngest contributor; Adam Crosthwaite made his transition from this life July 17, 2017. The time of the two plus year sabbatical and absence of The Spiritual Climate Newsletter has been a direct response to the shock and grief each one of us felt in our own way in a very personal reaction to his death. With Dr. Strickler having broken that silence with his touching, stunning, memorial to Adam in the re-opening of “The Spiritual Climate Newsletter,” I choose to add some words in tribute to Adam, and in reflection of time.
Time…They say it heals all wounds. Though wounds may heal, the scars remain, but with the scars are memories that stay as well. Adam appeared on the scene as a young man hired as a paraprofessional for my class of Autistic children at a private day school here in Phoenix. Adam’s recommendation came from a church nearby and I was warned to watch my language and behave around him! Oh boy! Was I in for a surprise, as was Adam. As we spent the first two weeks together dancing around trying to be prim and proper, it didn’t take long for the real personalities to surface. It soon became glaringly obvious that Adam was a unique Soul, with a giant heart, and with understanding and compassion far beyond his years. He was a natural at empathizing with our special kids and had a keen, one of a kind sense of humor that could somehow turn the direst of situations into a side-splitting comedy! As we let our real sides show to each other, Adam become my friend, protector, son and shortly, fellow student. Once he met the Boss, Dr. David Strickler, he knew he had found a home, a family, and a Path to follow for the remainder of his all too short stay on this Earth. The Time was right.
Time…They say it flies when you are having fun. The time Adam was here with us did fly, so in our own way, we were absolutely having fun! Adam was just that kind of person; the wiggle of his ears, the insightful yet silly comments, the fresh writer who showed us all up in his ability to write sincere, poignant articles with zingers at the end, the friend who cared so deeply for us all. When the “oldies” of the group bought a home together in Surprise AZ, we collectively decided Adam needed a life of his own; he deserved more of life than melting into being a caretaker for the geezers in the group home! (That is said in Adam’s joking style, but it is true…) Adam’s monthly visits to the Temple and holiday drop ins were anticipated for the sheer joy and insight he brought with him each time. He was, and remains, a part of us. He is missed more than words can express, but he is still here with us. His name comes up in chats and classes, he surfaces in our dreams, sometimes his presence can be felt. But there is no doubt, the time I was given to spend with him definitely flew by and I know I was having fun.
Time…So many references to Time. Time waits for no one; Lost Time is never found again (Benjamin Franklin); Time is the wisest counselor of all (Pericles); Time brings all things to pass (Aeschylus.) I could go on and on and relate each quote or saying I find to my regrets about the Time I have wasted, mismanaged, and whittled away during my 71 years on this Earth. Given the power I have become well aware that I have to shame myself, I could quickly work myself into a quagmire of paralyzing fear and doubt regarding finishing that which my Soul was sent here to accomplish. I have come to know that part of myself, but the anger and regret I still feel about Adam being taken so unexpectedly and quickly is admittedly an issue I have not yet resolved within myself. He had such passion, and yet was deeply sad. He could make us all laugh, and yet I know he was crying inside. He was one of the least complicated, yet most complex people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He was gentle, yet tough; he was caring, yet practical; he could make you laugh and cry within the expanse of one short story, and he gave the best hugs ever. When Adam wrapped those big arms around me, I felt safe, protected and secure. Like Time, Adam was a paradox! And although it feels to me as if his Time here in this Plane was cut short, I hold precious the memories and lessons he taught me. Time…Our best friend and worse enemy, depending upon how you employ it!
Until we meet again, Adam!
Christine J. Ford, Editor, Spiritual Climate Newsletter
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