Adam Ford, 1970-2020

My friend Adam Ford died unexpectedly this week.

Beautiful, big-hearted, and steadfastly evolving, Adam had been a fixture in my life since age 16 and it is fucking impossible to imagine not receiving another text or impromptu visit or white-knight gesture from my cherry-haired guardian. Somehow it didn’t dawn on me that there might come a day when I would never again hear him say: “Ros, ya need anything?”–even if it meant him dropping everything in Boston to help me move a table in Brooklyn.

I keep flashing on moments of our shared youth and his steady love, and breaking down again. A brilliant athlete and thinker and cock(tail)sman, he saw everyone clearly, which is why he could be so shockingly intimate and also so shockingly blunt. He was a fierce protector, fierce truth-teller, fierce champion, and if I’m being honest I don’t feel I ever lived up to that love. It’s the worst thing ever, scanning through our texts exchange and seeing that he was writing to my best self when I wasn’t behaving as her. But that’s the truth and he deserves my owning up to it.

At left is an image of my stunning friend in Moscow; at right is the last page of a letter he wrote me in 1991 upon hearing I’d been in hospital. His passionate concern was even more beautiful that his physical presence, which is saying quite a lot. As I write this, I can’t help thinking that what hurts most is that of everyone I know, it would have been Adam himself who would have most fully appreciated what I’m writing now. Not because it’s about him but because he so appreciated any expression of genuine emotion. He read everything I wrote, and messaged me immediately afterward to tell me how it had reached him. It’s odd to send this now into an Adam-less world.

If you are reading this, please join me in upholding the rightly named Adam–first place in everything, especially when on a bike. Behave today with as much care and kindness as possible in order to honor his legacy. Above all, please make sure each of your dear friends knows they are appreciated. We are so lucky when we find allies of our heart to travel with through this life. I wish I could tell my sweet friend that now.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy