It’s been a rough couple of weeks. On Tuesday, May 31st shortly after 11:00pm my friend, Adam Steinbach was killed, and I’ve been in a funk ever since hearing the news the next morning. I’m finding it hard to concentrate on my work or anything else for that matter; and I know many others are going through the same thing, or worse.
I feel very fortunate to have known Adam, and I have many fond memories of the time I was able to spend with him – playing the video game Rock Band, dancing around and singing to “I got a feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas, playing darts or just hanging out and talking about life.
I feel terrible for Adam’s family, for his girlfriend Lori, and for all the friends (including me) who will miss his amazing smile and amusing demeanor. Adam always greeted me with a smile and a hug, and said how great it was to see me – every time we saw each other – no matter if it had been two days, two weeks or two months. Adam seemed to want to make sure that people were having a good time… no matter what he was going through.
On Friday, a few days after Adam died, Mike (a long-time friend of Adam’s) and I went to visit the site where Adam died. We layed some flowers down for him and then Mike went around to speak with some of the people who live in the area, to try to get more information about what happened.
Later that afternoon we went to visit our friend Lori, Adam’s girlfriend. We all shared stories about the times spent with Adam. We laughed, we cried, and there were many hugs. We downloaded songs by Cold Play for the funeral, because that was Adam’s favorite band. It’s so strange to think we had all just spent an amazing day together at a Memorial Day weekend BBQ on Sunday, just two days before he died – and now he was gone.
The funeral was on Monday, a week ago. It was eerie walking into the church knowing this was for Adam. The auditorium was filled with heartbroken family members and friends trying to make sense of this tragedy. We all sat there wiping tears away as the Minister gave the memorial talk trying to bring comfort to all of us mourning this great loss. Then, family members and friends went to the podium to say a few words about this young man taken before his time. Adam was only 29 years old.
It was so difficult to watch as his father, Mike, and his mother, Janet, tried to contain their immense sorrow as they spoke about losing their only son. As a parent myself, I can not even imagine the pain or what they must be going through.
Following the funeral, our group of friends went to a local watering hole, propped a large picture of Adam up on the bar where we were all sitting, and we toasted our friend. The manager let us play the Cold Play CD on the jukebox and we honored Adams memory with drinks, stories, laughs and tears.
This past weekend a group of us went out again to the site of Adam’s death, to visit a memorial that had been built for him.
Lori brought some of the flowers from the funeral that still looked good and we placed them beside the cross that had been erected for him. It appears that other people had been by and had also left flowers and even a stuffed animal. We stood in silence, our heads down, our hearts in pain. Each of us deep in our thoughts, prayers, or silent conversations with Adam. Soon a few passersby stopped and expressed their condolences for our loss. Those of us who hadn’t yet signed the memorial wrote our last words to him on the cross that marked the place Adam took his last breath.
The most difficult part about Adam’s death is that he was murdered. Adam was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Detectives believe Adam was parked on the side of the road sleeping in his truck’s camper because he was between residences at the time. They suspect a man named Dawayne Lawrence tried to burglarize his vehicle, which woke Adam, and a confrontation occurred. During the altercation, Lawrence (allegedly) stabbed Adam multiple times, and then left him to die. A man who was riding by noticed Adam lying there. He called 911; then sat with Adam and held his hand until Adam took his last breath. The ambulance and police arrived soon thereafter.
The District Attorney’s Office filed charges against Lawrence on June 14 and he was charged with murder. It brings a little comfort to know that they have arrested someone for this heinous crime, but it doesn’t bring back our friend, or Mike and Janet’s dear son.
Adam we love you and miss you. We will always remember you!