|Adam Arias, Jan. 4, 1964 - Sept. 11, 2001|
Originally posted 11 September 2011.
I wanted to speak to Love Majewski about her memories of her uncle, Adam Arias after her mother told me how close the two were. They were only 5 or 6 years apart in age and because Lorraine took care of her youngest brother very often, Love and Adam were raised more like brother and sister. In fact, as we talked, Love referred to him over and over as her best friend. It was a multi-layered relationship of three very close bonds (uncle/niece, brother/sister, best friends) in one.
Love tells me a story of when she was just 17 years old. She was always ambitious and one day she made some signs “Nails By Love.” She took them to a local salon and made a deal with them. She would work there and do nails and just keep 40% of the fee. They hired her and she saved up her money. There was a Jewelry lady there and Love took the money she had saved up and bought a sterling silver pinky ring with onyx, for her uncle Adam.
When she got involved with Ray, Adam was her protector. He stood up to him and tried to get Love to leave him. Ray stole three of his cars and destroyed them in retaliation. The relationship between Love and Ray created some distance between her and Adam. But when Love broke it off with Ray, Adam was there to comfort and support her and never said I told you so.
Years later, after the attacks of 911, the police came to their home looking for something they could use to ID the body. They asked for a toothbrush or hairbrush, but his wife was so distraught and in denial, she wouldn’t let the police have anything of his. In her state of mind she thought he was coming home and would not accept his death. They tell Love that they need something of his to ID his body.
Love was there because she and Adam had purchased co-ops in the same building, she was 27 at the time and he was 32. He moved in with his new wife. Love explains that what was so beautiful about the co-ops was that they looked out on the skyline of Manhattan. That later turned out to be a curse, when all they could do was to look out and watch the buildings burn for days.
The authorities told Love that his wife was hindering the investigation. Love tried to help and she went to her uncle’s jewelry box. In it she she was surprised to find the pinky ring she had given him 10 year ago, all polished up. She realized just how special the ring was to him when his wife told her that of course he still had it, he took great pride in the fact that she bought it for him with money she had saved from her first job.
Although Adam was missing, and they found his body in eight days, it took weeks for them to positively identify him. Love spent a lot of time with his wife. Love says she herself felt like she was having a nervous breakdown. She would stare at the bus stop where he would get off at night and look up to her window. She couldn’t sleep for days and the doctor prescribed valium and ambien. The ambien ended up keeping her up for 7 days. Love called her girlfriend who knew a cop that drove them around from hospital to hospital and morgue to morgue looking for Adam. They went to other facilities that were holding the remains of the victims too, but he wasn’t at any of them.
Meanwhile, Adam's wife was having a real breakdown. One day she put on Adam’s shirt and tie and was walking around in it. Love noticed that a door to the co-op emergency exit was open and she went up the stairs. There on the roof was his watching the burning buildings, saying I can’t feel him. She was falling apart and so was Love. But, Love tried whatever she could to get her off the roof. She told her to have faith and to pray for Adam and the best will happen. She says you know Adam loves you and he will find a way to come back. Even though Love believes she saved a life that day, Love still feel guilty about what she said. A few days later they found Adam’s body and his wife asked her why she told her those things, she should have let her die on the roof.
Adam was warned to leave the building by his older brother, Donald, but he would not leave until all his employees were safely out. There was an employee with a medical condition that made it difficult for her to leave. Adam was helping her.
Before 911, Adam sang in a Rock Band and was very talented. Because of his profession as Vice President at Euro Broker, he couldn’t grow his hair or wear earrings. But he had an incredible voice and loved to sing. When they played his music at his funeral there was not a dry eye in the house. Love says, when he sang he would always tell her, “come see me, come see me.” She didn’t go often, she was busy with girl friends. But whenever she did go, the second she hit the door, the band would immediately start playing “Dream On.” This song held special memories for Love and Adam. That was the song that Love’s father used to sing to her when she was a child. Now her uncle would sing it to her to bring her comfort. The song was always ready for her when he walked through the door and, while he would sing it, he would come to her with his mike in hand and hug and kiss her. That was his greeting for her.
At his funeral they had a Voice Memorial and “Dream On” was played in the background. Love says the words are so beautiful and they talk about continuing to dream and life moves on. She says he would never want her to stop her life. He just wanted her to do the right thing. And when she got a job in an office her would bring his executive friends by to meet her and tell them she is “a world class model.” He took her to charity functions and, if guys asked about her, he would tell them “that’s my niece, back off.”
Adam meant the world to Love, he was her best friend. In his memory, she does charity functions to raise money and keep his memory alive. Anything that has to do with 911, she is there to honor his memory in any way she can. And, from hearing her story and her emotion I honestly feel he is proudly looking down on her now and all she has accomplished in her life and singing, “Dream On” Love.
|Nick, First Responder and Dear Friend|
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Picture Credit: Love Majewski