The following was posted at The Zoo earlier today.
A week ago, on Monday morning, March 26th, our 26-year-old nephew Adam Sechny was killed in a head-on collision on Route 22 in Brewster, New York.
Adam was the son of my brother, Bobby, and Wayne’s sister, Judy; therefore Adam was nephew to both of us, and the son that we never had. Adam worked at the same company as Wayne and I for the last several years, and it was there that we really got to know him as an adult person outside of the family venue.
Adam had turned into an intelligent, thoughtful, quick-witted adult, with the sarcastic and sardonic sense of humor of both of his parents. His concern for his friends and co-workers was deep and insightful. But what surprised me most about Adam was his constant curiosity about his family: questions about his parents when they were young, questions about his grandparents, and discussions about different aspects of our family were part of our daily routine. I feel now that this interest reflected, just below the sarcastic surface, Adam’s deep underlying (but usually unspoken) love for his family.
Adam’s most endearing soft spot was his love of bunnies. In the summer, Adam would often keep ‘bunny-watch’ at the glass door in my department at work, outside of which we would often spot a local bunny from the orchard. Always close to his sister, Emily, his excitement when he knew that he was going to be able to babysit Emily’s bunny, Bijoux, was something to behold from this strapping 6′-2″ young man. He would talk happily about it from the moment he got the word from Emily until well after his bunny-sitting stint ended. It was the last thing that Adam and I talked about at the office on Friday, March 23rd – he came to me brandishing an email with Emily’s schedule for Adam’s upcoming bunny-sitting duties.
A few weeks ago, I had given Adam an early Easter present, a squishy/gummy little bunny toy which, when one tossed it around, would flash with different colored lights. It immediately turned into Adam’s favorite toy – he dubbed it his ‘police bunny’ – and, when his friends at work began collecting things to put into a ‘memento box’ in Adam’s memory, it was the first item designated as part of his memorial.
Wayne and I used to joke with Adam – in fact I did so a few days before his death – that HE was the reason why Wayne and I decided not to have kids. But I’m happy to be able to say that Adam knew that Wayne and I were so very proud of him, and that we dearly loved him as if he was our own son.
Added Note: The attendance at Adam’s memorial wake, held on Friday, March 30th, was an overwhelming tribute, not just to Adam’s esteem in the minds of his friends and co-workers, but to the entire Sechny and Schneider families as a part of the Brewster [aka ‘Southeast’] community. It was a wonderful reminder of how closely interconnected one is to such a large and varied web of people, something which is so often forgotten until such a tragedy occurs to tug back all in that web.
Contributions in his memory may be made to Hospice Care in Westchester and Putnam Inc., 540 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591. This charity is personally meaningful to us: After all that Hospice did for us during our parents’ illnesses, our family feels that the more help that Hospice receives, the more they can help other families like ours.