My heart is broken by the loss but filled with the outpouring of love. It is with shock and dismay that I come to grips with the fact that my sister has died. She is only 11 years older then I was and I just assumed that we would grow old together. Two sisters, together, living through it all. That doesn't get to be the story though. Instead, I will have buried 3 family members in 5 years, she being the last of my immediate childhood family. To be so utterly rootless is a feeling I can't quite put my head around.
Ada was 11 years older, but thrust into maturaty at 17 when my mom was hospitalized and my parents divorced. She took to the role without question, although I know she sacrificed her own childhood to make sure mine was ok. At 17 she would take me to high school with her, me sitting quietly as she finished her senior year.
When I was 9 she had her first daughter, Sarah Bell, and instead of setting me back into the fold of my father she took me along as the proud aunt. We vacationed in their VW pop up van, played backgammon on the lawn and explored Southern California as a little girl troop. She took my friend Wendy and I on our first, and my last, horseback riding adventure in Big Bear. She threw birthday parties for me at Twila Reed Park. She celebrated every win I had, and mourned every loss.
Later when I decided to go back to college and finish my degree, she cared for my daughter, Paige. Paige cried every moment of every day, but Ada just kept holding her and loving her. She did that with a lot of people.
To know Ada, was to become part of her circle of fierce love.You couldn't not be part of it, she pulled you in with her care, her laughter, and her sense of adventure. She loved you no matter what, flaws and all. Despite our issues later in life, I always knew she was there rooting for me, proud of all I did. There are no words that can share how hard it is to lose someone like that in your life. Except maybe, I will miss you, and I loved you, too.