Wade died on Tuesday December 27 after a courageous battle with cancer. A memorial was held for him on January 1. He was the youngest of my mother’s children and for many years was homeless in Harvard Square, Cambridge. He suffered from alcoholism, but he’d been sober for 10-years and was living on disability in an apartment by himself in Arlington, where he grew up.
At the memorial, people traveled from Harvard Square to Danvers to attend, no small feat for people with little to no means. These people told of how Wade had been there for them, how he sat up all night watching out for a woman while she slept her first night on the streets; how he talked another woman off of a ledge and then spent the next 24 hours with her, talking, sharing, making her see she was special. He did these things despite the burdens of his own problems, which were, shall we say, significant. He gave.
These actions are things that could only be done by someone who had lived the grief and troubles of the people he was helping. I, though capable of doing them, would not have been accepted, while he was. My brother is gone, but I got to learn what an extraordinary person he was.
And now you know, too.