I had a forboding feeling when I got the phone message: Greg Adams calling regarding Chuck Adams. Though I had no reason to suspect anything was amiss, I somehow knew the news wasn't good. Chuck Adams was an amazing man, whom I first met back in 1999, when I was promoting my kids book, I Don't Want To Sleep Tonight, at the BJ's store he managed. I suppose I would have remebered Chuck because he was in a wheelchair, not that many store managers are -- but when I think of Chuck, in my mind's eye he's never in that chair.
That's because Chuck Adams was such a do-er. Moving fast, making plans, filled with ideas, making things happen. Chuck and I stayed in contact after that meeting and we became friends ... the kind of friends who stay intouch by phone and email because the distances got in the way.
Chuck was disabled from birth -- if you can call it that. As far as I could tell, there wasn't anything Chuck couldn't do that you'd want to. Okay, maybe he couldn't climb Devil's Tower out West -- but that isn't on my bucket list and probably isn't on yours either. Chuck was paralyzed by a delivery room mishap. Doctors told his parents they ought to just 'stick him' in a home and forget about it. Back then, I guess that's the way doctors thought. But it wasn't the way Chuck's parents thought -- and certainly not the way Adams grew to live his life.
Chuck told me once, "I have anunquencable thirst, a passion for life. I've often learned you have to make things happen." Chuck made lots of things happen. He had a variety of careers -- all of them interesting and fulfilling. He married and raised two terrific daughters of whom he was so very proud, Rebecca and Bridget. I am sure they heard him say many times, "Success is more often derived, not from your arms and legs, but from your heart and head." He was kind enough to let me share his story in my book Thank You Power. Chuck's story begins on page 91.
Chuck says he always believed life held for him, "Something More." It was the way he lived it -- and the title of his first book. A sort of autobiographical tale about a guy in a chair who just kpet moving forward. I say 'first' book - because Chuck's second book is coming out this Spring.
Unfortunately, Chuck won't be here to see it on store shelves. This week, Chuck Adams died. he was only 55. That's why his brother Greg called me. I hadn't seen this article in a Long Island paper. Over the years, Chuck had had surgery on his injured back, the most recent was November of 2009. He'd been doing well, but apparently back pain was a problem. It may be that he had a reaction to the pain killers. His death is such a loss.
Chuck Adams - my life -- and the many you touched -- is richer for your having been in it. FEw of us leave this earth secure in the knowledge as I know you were that you did it all, did it with grace, and taught us how to truly live. You always told me there was 'something more.' I still believe it -- and know that you are with the man upstairs -- reminding those of us you left behind that there is something more for us too -- there with God (and you).
See more on Chuck and link to his book here.