Our son, Adam Christian Fenty, was born on the Fourth of July in 1986. What a gloriously happy event for our family, the birth of a beautiful, healthy boy. As weeks and months went by we fell more and more in love with this cheerful, gurgling, bundle of activity; as a matter of fact, one glance from his beautiful green eyes was enough to melt away the stress and anxiety of our hectic lives as working parents. Every year on his birthday, he would look up at the fireworks, turn to me and ask “for me Mommy?”, and I would respond with my fingers crossed behind my back “yes Adam, for your birthday!”
He was always a gentle and affectionate child, qualities that remained with him as we watched him mature into a young man. I remember one day he came running home bloodied after playing with his best friend next door, I explained that he should set his friend straight so that he wouldn’t take advantage of him and he looked at me with his soul-searching eyes and replied “but Mommy I can’t, he’s my friend.”
Adam grew into an athletic teenager and spent endless summer days with his best friends playing baseball, street hockey, basketball, skateboarding, rollerblading, swimming in our pool, and playing ‘Manhunt’ at night. He inspired fierce loyalty from his friends, always at his side when needed. These same boys who went to the high school prom together with their dates remained close until that tragic day.
Our son was killed in an automobile accident that took place October 29, 2009. He was only 23 years old and has left an abyss of grief and sorrow in the lives of his two younger sisters and his parents. When you pour all of your love, tenderness, aspirations and hopes into the raising of your children, you hope that the reward will be to watch them become independent, prosperous and joyful adults. His sisters will never be the same, they looked up to their older brother and always knew that no matter what, as siblings, they would always have each other.
The morning that we said good-bye to Adam in the hospital will forever be etched in our hearts with inconsolable pain. We are however, very proud that our young son had the presence of mind to declare himself an organ, tissue and eye donor on his driver’s license. We had no idea that our son had even considered what should be done in the event of his untimely death. As parents, and because Adam had declared his intent to become a donor, we gave consent to his final wish.
Our son’s final act was to help others, human beings never to be known by him; this exemplifies such a generosity of spirit. We are awe-struck, humbled, and very proud of our son. We can only hope and pray that others are positively impacted by Adam’s story. At the very least we want to educate and encourage family, friends, and colleagues to register with the Donate Life registry and to support the valuable and selfless work of the staff of the Lions Eye Bank for Long Island.
Our message as grieving parents is – Make a Life Decision, don’t wait.
– Frederick & Irma M. Fenty, parents of Adam, Felicia, and Brianna