Saturday my family and the Laramie community celebrated the 4th Annual Adam Towler Memorial 5K/10K run. It is a beautiful, exhilarating, exhausting event. We remember my kind-hearted, highly-intelligent, eccentric younger brother by running like mad and raising money for charities near and dear to his heart (St. Laurence O’Toole School, the Heart to Heart Pregnancy Center and the Red Dress Heart Fund). We know he is keeping us all in his prayers up in heaven. On several occasions, I have lifted intentions to God through Adam and God has answered. Adam was clearly needed in heaven. Do not be shy to offer your intentions through Adam.
I took a few pictures of Adam’s things in his room yesterday (above), because they make me smile. I forget them when I am away, but they perfectly epitomize his personality—his quirky sense of humor, his love of cold ancient places (the scotty dog from Ireland made of Irish sod), his love of history and geography, his love of writing, his love of the unknown (aliens), and most importantly his religiosity. He never threw anything away, because he assigned special meaning to everything he ever owned. Most people get tired of their things, they lose meaning and are discarded. Adam never did. He had written a part of his life on each thing. That is not to say that he was a materialist. The things, simply, kept symbolic meaning to him. It’s really quite touching.
Here below is Adam’s obituary from four years ago written by my wonderful sister Sarah. It may give some insight into why we celebrate Adam each year:
Our beloved son and brother, Adam Robert Towler, died Sunday, July 16, 2006, under tragic circumstances. He was born in Brisbane, Australia, his father's hometown, on May 11, 1986 (Mother's Day). The Towler family moved to Laramie when he was 1 year old. He attended kindergarten through sixth grade at St. Laurence Elementary. As a junior high student, he won the Wyoming State Geography Bee in 2000 and 2001 and went on to compete nationally. A strong knowledge of the globe and an intercontinental family resulted in a deep and profound world interest that would shape his dreams. In ninth grade, he applied for and received a scholarship and acceptance to the prestigious Portsmouth Abbey in Portsmouth, R.I. His high school education served to flourish his personal growth, immense creativity and spiritual enlightenment. Athletically, he competed and found a niche in cross country and track. The Abbey also allowed Adam to nourish his altruistic personality while participating in the Appalachian service project two years in a row. Shortly thereafter, he volunteered with Heart to Heart in Laramie. Adam was also a published writer and poet. He won the school's poetry prize upon graduation from the Abbey in 2005. In the fall of the same year, he entered into his freshman year at Emory University in Atlanta. The diversity of Emory allowed him to pursue his interests with exuberant fervor. He was pleased with his international relations major and even more so with his studies in Hindi and his minor in Middle Eastern and Asian studies. He quickly became an editor at The Emory Political Review and became actively involved in the on-campus Catholic Church while maintaining a 3.7 GPA. In the summer of 2006, he was accepted to the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, realizing a longtime dream. Adam was looking forward to building a new life in the nation's capital. He thought maybe one day, he might be a diplomat or a consulate to a foreign nation and travel the world, visiting the places he had studied for long hours as a boy. Adam was a kind, insightful and genuine young man. He was well known for his sense of humor and ability to quickly make a stranger into a friend. Adam brought his parents and family great pride with both his character and accomplishments. He was a wonderful son and brother and well loved by all who knew him.