We had been driving most of the day when we finally reached the town where you were waiting for us. I spoke to the sheriff alone as your brothers waited in the car. He was very kind as we finished the paperwork. He gave me the address of the home where we would find you.
As we drove across town nobody said a word.
The home's owner met us at the door. He showed us to a private room where we were to sit and wait. We had just seen you two months earlier. We could all remember wishing you well on your new adventure in life. You gave us all huge hugs before driving off.
As they brought you to us I felt my hands shake. Your brothers were silent. There were no words; only tears. As I put my hand on you I could feel my heart breaking. I told you I was so sorry. You went to the car with your brothers as we finished up the paperwork and prepared for our trip home.
We drove for hours without speaking. The landscape passed us by, showing the same rock formations we had driven by just hours earlier. But this time, everything seemed different. Everything had less detail. Even the sound of the road seemed muffled.
After hours of silence I felt a slight tug on my sleeve. When I turned around I could see my wife breaking down, crying. The image I saw beside her was more than I could take; your brother, sound asleep, with his arms wrapped around you, holding you to his chest. His heavy tears were still visible on his cheeks. I took a picture, even though I knew I may never be able to view it.
I felt angry. If you loved your brothers so much, how could you do this to them? Why didn't you call us before making this decision? Why didn't you realize this effects us all? Did you think we didn't care? Did you think we wouldn't want to help?
I wanted to scream at you from the top of my lungs: Why - WHY?! - would you do this? Can't you see what you're doing to your family? How could you hurt us so bad? How will we ever recover?
There was no answer. Somewhere inside I knew there never would be.
As we pulled into the driveway I was exhausted. We had driven more than a thousand miles with less than a dozen words spoken. My body ached as I carried you into the house. I sat on the couch. rethinking everything I had said. I love you so much. I am so sorry I was not there for you when you needed me. I'm so sorry for the things I screamed at you. I just miss you so much.
I sat for what seemed like hours, just holding you. As I stood up I felt faint, like I wasn't even there. It seemed like a dream. We had cleared off a special spot for you in the niche we all loved.
As I laid the perfectly folded flag down behind your picture, I knew that I would never let go. I will hold onto your memory forever, and I will love you for the rest of my life.
Editor's Note: If you are experiencing persistent emotional pain and/or thoughts of suicide, please call your physician or primary care or mental health provider. If you are in crisis and your provider is not available, do not hesitate to visit your local emergency room or dial 911. If you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis, it is okay to get help. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for confidential support. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
A GoFundMe page is available to assist the Adams family with memorial costs. Click here for more information.