Many of you supported us in making my fathers end of life as comfortable, positive and hopeful as possible, which has made an everlasting imprint on our family’s hearts.
This imprint is much more than can ever be expressed in words and we are forever grateful.
It is such a healing gift to be surrounded by your love & respect for my father and our family, and I’m certain that he would be incredibly touched and excited by every one of you being here.
My father fought the most difficult fight of his life until the 6th February 2019 when he fell asleep for the last time.
In honour of my fathers life I’ve written a piece to keep his presence on earth alive.
To my darling Daddy,
I know that you are at peace and while there is some relief because it was so heart wrenching to watch you suffer, I find that the hardest part of this now is that when I speak to you, you don’t respond to me.
Your soul left us prematurely and while I know that you have moved on to a more beautiful realm, one can never be ready to let go and say goodbye.
I feel incredibly lucky for the 24 years I got to spend with you on this Earth.
In case I never told you, I love being your daughter.
Everyone in this room knows my father from different life chapters and relationships, and through his several personas.
Through the eyes of his eldest daughter, I would love to tell you a few things about him.
Mark Nicholas Adams was born in Harrow, London to parents who worshipped and adored him.
His mother had been told she could not have babies and Mark came along as their “miracle child” when they were both 40 Years old.
He sadly lost his father aged 5 to a similar illness as his own but his mother, along with his Uncle and cousins continued to love and protect him.
He was always very close to his mother.
In his early childhood they moved to East Sussex where he was educated at Heathfield Primary, St Andrew’s and then Eastbourne College, where he met some lifelong friends who sit in front of me here today.
As young children, his school stories, involving the likes of Andrew, Mark, Tim, Tigs, Peter, Nick, Gordon and others, replaced Enid Blyton novels.
Despite being a mischievous student, my father had a charm and brain that allowed him to excel in most subjects. He loved his sports and most importantly, his play – which he was known for until the end.
Aged 17 he won an award to travel around America and although he attended Warwick University to study History Of Art, I remember most prominently hearing about his year abroad in Venice, where he learnt Italian and found a passion for cooking.
This is something he carried through to his parental years, including us, his children as his co chefs – Number 2, 3 and 4.
My father moved back to London in his early 20’s and loving the scene never really left again, other than for work and travel.
Asia was his favourite location.
Stomping grounds from Chelsea to the East End, he was loved, looked after, and perhaps known a little too well in certain hot spots including Namlong, Mr. Wing, Randal & Aubin, The Groucho, L’equipe Anglaise, Soho House and in earlier years, the Walthamstow Dog track.
He has always driven me to go for the wild-er decisions in life, while mentoring me to work hard, take chances and value family and friends, considerably my siblings who I see as beautiful gifts.
His little BB, Isabella was born 2 years after me with his first wife, Ali, my beautiful mummy who remains our constant support.
Maxi, his little boy and shining star arrived in 2006 with Gaby, who was his rock and love for over 10 years. Maxi completed the Adams family trio.
I think that we may all recall the way my father’s face lit up when he spoke about his work. His endless drive and passion for business was his raisin d’etres and this was no secret to his children.
Never destined to sit at a desk and always on the go, talking about something was never quite enough, he had to go and do it.
Whether that be putting the largest real-snow ramp into Battersea Park with Board X, opening up the U.K. market into Eastern Europe with HERO exhibitions, or Running bars at music festivals with F10 Sponsorship.
He would love to work alongside friends, venturing together through the high’s and low’s and despite set-backs, he always bounced back.
Through any faults, I can vouch that my father brought creativity, a passionate energy, good intention and the ability to sell ice to an eskimo.
Look back on time with kindly eyes, he doubtless did his best.
As his children we have seen him through many of the missions, and more often than not been involved. Whether that be attending meetings and taking notes, stepping in as WKD promo girls at Fat Boy Slim’s gig (at the age of 12), or Maxi commentating for his e-gaming tour showreel.
Remaining by his side until his final days, gifting him with support, care, strength and love was his partner, then later wife, Lala – we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Life and soul of the party, my father always liked to make a special appearance and statement- of which I’m sure you’ll have many memories of your own.
As his children, ours maybe rather different. One year we recall him making a fashion statement on our school speech day, turning up in a pastel ensemble, including knee high socks, open toe sandals and tight shorts. Apparently, completely serious about the new look.
On another occasion, he turned up to the school gates with our labradour dressed in the complete school uniform. He was the dad who would wolf whistle after your performance in assembly’s, flirt with all your female teachers and put dog biscuits in your lunch box.
He never failed to support, surprise and be there for us as his children, whenever we needed him most. For all of us, memories of crabbing in Norfolk, visits to East Sussex, being told lengthy stories, and beach walks on warm sands shall now forever be cherished.
I will always be thankful for the energy and effort he gave to me, how he visited me when I was working abroad, drove me to my Art AS level on the back of his Harley Davidson when the tubes were down, and last year, when he accompanied me to a period poverty protest in trafalgar square.
I’m not sure he quite knew what he was in for.
In August 2018 I took the last ever walk with my father and he told me how one of his favourite things to do would be to brush his hands through the plant leaves when running.
We all have a timeline but when someone you love has a short one and it’s thrust before your eyes you learn that the seemingly little things, like holding hands and hearing their voice – are actually incredibly poignant.
It’s in these precious hours that we learn to live and forgive.
Everyday, we would exchange music and listen to the same song simultaneously. This later became a way of communicating, to express things that were too difficult to say out loud.
I leave you with a verse of the last song my father shared with us a couple of days before he passed.
How long will I hold you?
As long as your father told you
As long as you can.
How long will I give to you?
As long as I live through you
However long you say.
How long will I love you?
As long as stars are above you
And longer if I may.
My father believed that life was a gift, he loved living and Daddy, although I wish you were here to see, I know that you’ll forever be here with me.