Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Songs Are Stories 2.0 - In Celebration of Mike Adam

Two out of the past three Eye Empire shows within my traveling distance did not come to fruition the last couple of years the band has been touring to love, support and respect their fan base.  Then came June 23rd, a beautiful super moon long summer day, proving the third time would be the charm.  

In the weeks leading up to the event, I was beyond excited.  Two plus years of waiting for this had transpired.  Not only was I looking forward to watching and hearing Eye Empire live in an opening slot for Drowning Pool, I was looking forward to time with old friends at a venue I have a long history with.  One of my favorite local bands Twenty12 Tribe even had an opening slot.  Name of the venue: Empire.  No, I'm not making this stuff up!

Excitement turned to somber reflection however, less than a week before the show.  Those of us within the Beyond the Music (#BeyondTheMusic) community of Eye Empire's social media outreach were mourning another casualty of Cancer.  Mike Adam, a warrior who loved the music and the people of Eye Empire was on my mind.  His family and friends celebrated his life on the 22nd.   A beautiful courageous soul I first learned about when the Songs are Stories blog was written, back when Beyond The Music began.  Mike was certainly in my thoughts that evening. 

Mike rocking the red!
Mike was diagnosed less than a year ago with Non-Hodgkins Anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer that ended up spreading into an equally aggressive skin cancer shortly thereafter.  At each turn in the road, Mike and the love of his life Hollie rolled with the punches, embracing or fighting another new round of treatments, tests and doctors. So many highs and lows to their story this past year were shared openly and honestly on the Mike Adams Fights Cancer Facebook page.  Death is a taboo in the country; it’s something so many of us aren't comfortable dealing with.  Mike Adam and Hollie were open, real, raw and vulnerable in their sharing the love in the struggle.  In the end, the Cancer may have taken Mike away, but the light he leaves behind shines bright through her and their own Facebook timelines of beauty, dignity and grace. 

Mike during treatment.
In August of 2012, a month after Mike's diagnosis, Eye Empire played a benefit concert for him in Sarasota, Florida.  Before diagnosis, Mike was a bartender at many of the local establishments.  He was a fixture in the music scene as well.  Something all of us at Empire (formerly known as Jaxx and Zaxx in Springfield, Virginia) can relate to.  They gave back to him in his time of need an equal measure of the man he was in their lives each day.  It was a beautiful thing to watch the love spring from the pain and the community of both those known and not known come together to make a difference.  You could tell by their actions that Mike's light was loved by all of them.

Mike & Hollie

In all honesty, I didn't even find it the least bit random to learn that one of Mike's favorite adult drinks was Jagermeister as they too are a huge supporter throughout the world of both local and national musicians.  Like attracts like, and as with all such things, it's also no wonder he shared his life with one of the strongest woman on the planet.  Hollie James was by his side through all of it.  She was his voice, his warrior and his cheerleader when he needed her the most. Even in death, she'll continue to do so.  That's the amazing thing about true love, it's everlasting through eternity and this lifetime.  

Mike & Hollie

Eye Empire's mission to support Mike Adam and countless others is probably why I connected so strongly with what they started implementing within their social media circle. Believe me, they're as genuine as one can get when they say to bring it to the Empire.  Come, share, be, seek and find; we are all one.  They live their mantra; they want to make an impact.  They believe in the Love, Respect and Support they teach.  They believe that in order to do so in life, you have to be the example you wish to see, that you have to live it. Their compassion and truth is what birthed the inspired thoughts that were to come.  

What inspired thoughts am I speaking of?  Before the event at Empire, I allowed the flow to happen as it so magically does and compiled a list of questions for DC as a follow-up to the original Songs are Stories blog.  I even allowed him some time to mull them over from the road as the date grew closer in that they weren't your typical interview questions of the lead vocalist for a rock band.  

The answers that come in the next blog of this multi-part series are true to the Knowing mission of passing along the beneficial knowledge of life.  I am grateful that DC was open to share as he humbly did.  It is with certainty I can say that this group has something to say that each of us can relate to, not only in their music but in who they are.  The next blog that's posted will be a must read, I hope you are able to enjoy it and share it with those who make an impact on you too.  Mike and Hollie surely did make an impact on all of us.  Please know from the bottom of my heart that neither of you will ever be forgotten.  Love, Respect & Support forever.  


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