Bio, Blog, Love, The Bigger Picture

Notes on a Friendship

Mrs. Elsie Gene Adams (ninety-six years old) and Clay Rivers (fifty-five years old), White Plains, New York; circa 2016.

The following is a reflection on the sixty-two-year friendship between the late Mrs. Elsie Gene Adams and Mr. Clay Rivers. This memorial was given by Mr. Rivers at Grace Episcopal Church, White Plains, New York, on January 27, 2024, at the request of Mrs. Adams’ daughters.

Joan, Jeanette, Cynthia, and Eris, family members, Father Moronta, Grace Episcopal parishioners, friends, and guests—greetings. It’s an honor to be with you today to reflect on our beloved Elsie Gene Adams.

I so wanted to share neat little packaged anecdotes that would hopefully make you smile and bring you, at the very least, a hint of comfort, but I can’t. I am bereft, unmoored, and floundering on storm-tossed waves of sadness and grief. The loss is unspeakable, as no words give meaning to my sorrow. I am a man come undone.

Mrs. Adams was both a second mother and third grandmother to me. Most importantly, she understood me better than anyone else ever has. She was—hands down—my best friend.

I miss her deeply.