It’s an unfortunate association. Deadpool the movie and my friend Adam.
Adam was sick when I met him. I was a new Mason and was attending my first meeting at another lodge. He sat by himself, near the door. Several times during the meeting he slowly got out of his chair and left the room. He was absurdly bloated, his face in particular. He was clearly in a lot of pain. I wanted to know his story. I approached him after the meeting. Masons do that. We want to meet everyone in the room because a Stranger is a friend you have yet to make.
At first we made small talk. Conversation was difficult because other people kept approaching us to talk to Adam. He was clearly very well-liked. It was also clear that he was very sick. I would later find out that he had nearly died of cancer 8 years prior and he was still very sick from all of the harsh treatments he had endured.
Adam and I became fast friends. In addition to Masonry and both having a Chronic Illness, we had much in common and we always had something to talk about. It wasn’t long before we were hanging out. Usually at his house, the poor bastard was always sick or recovering from something. It was hard to watch, he was a young guy, not even 40 years old.
When we got him out of the house, on days when he still had a few spoons in the drawer, he was a joy. He was so happy to be able to enjoy those moments, he knew that the next ones weren’t guaranteed. As time went on, those outings were fewer and farther apart.
Adam was a good and kind person. He got a bad shake in life. He was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer on his leg at age 30. With a survival rate of about 18% he defied the odds. But post treatment the cures began to kill him. Knee replacements, hip replacement, a pacemaker, enough medications to kill a small horse. He had several infections in which he was hospitalized for months at a time that left him weakened and compromised. By age 40 he was barely hanging on. Fortunately he kept his sense of humor and his love for movies alive. The movie that I saw him get most excited about was Deadpool. As soon as he learned that the comic series was being made into a movie he was planning to go see it. When that day came he was downright giddy. I wasn’t able to go with him but the other guys said Adam had a blast. It warmed my heart that something as ordinary as going to a movie could make one person so happy. In that moment my friend was happy. If anyone ever deserved it he did.
Not long after Deadpool Adam developed an infection. He was hospitalized for over a month. Tragically, he never came out. His ravaged body couldn’t fight anymore. I was so angry with myself for not going in to see him, despite his father’s assuring me that Adam wasn’t present mentally and it wouldn’t have mattered.
His parents had mourned his death long before it happened.
I miss my friend. I miss the big smile and quick wit. I miss his giving nature, he never talked about himself but instead tried to help others. It made him forget for a moment how sick he was. I miss hanging out at his house arguing politics. I miss the many lessons I constantly learned from him in toughness and optimism.
He can finally get some rest. He put on a big smile for all of us but behind that smile was so much pain. It took so much out of him and it took a lot out of us to watch it.
Rest well my friend