Friday, March 21, 2008

For Ada with Love

Dear Ponsawan, I don't know what to say. I've avoided writing, because every time I try, I fail, and because I've been holding out to be able to call Ada and tell her I've been thinking about her constantly and to hear about the awful hospital food. But that day is a ways off. It's still almost hard to believe sometimes. My mom called right away when she saw the story in the paper; Ray and Devon let me know while I was still on the phone. Until Archie's note online, I thought it was a mistake. Honestly, at first, I found it morbid and disconcerting to see people leaving messages on her Facebook wall and other places, verbalizing thoughts with the knowledge that she wouldn't see them right away. It bothered me, because it was as if people couldn't wait to tell Ada herself once she woke up, "any day now," I thought. Mostly it was just my way of avoiding the reality. Every day I waited for news that she'd be awake so I could buy plane tickets to come see her. Of course, deep down I knew it wasn't so simple, and also that law school would keep me from flying to Indiana. Even weeks later, I feel strange writing anything, but if it will help Ada, I have to. I don't know what to say. I suppose that draws a strong contrast to when I first met Ada; we talked--and ate--constantly. Actually, in truth, I don't remember how we even met. There's no doubt that that speaks to the depth and richness of our relationship. It's as though there never was a time I existed without her. I remember staying up all ni ght, talking on phones with dying batteries, talking about everything...and nothing. I'd only experienced that uncomplicated, raw, and captivating connection with one other person, and after they got grounded for it, my late nights were lacking until Ada came along. Ada always had stories and plans and thoughts and chatter. The hours passed effortlessly, and it was all Ada's energy that did it, even into the summer after graduating. I remember going out for food at times when everyone else in the whole state slept soundly, it seemed. We never needed sleep and never sated our hunger. We could do anything then; fortunately for all of us, Ada still can. And she will. Words cannot convey the impact Ada's had on my life, and I'm just one of so many people who love her. Words are also completely inadequate to describe how much I wish I could see her and how useless I feel. I've not spent that much time with your family other than Ada, but my heart goes out to all of you. I've always admired the conviction with which she moves through life. She decides to do something, and she does it. Ada wanted to go to Spain, and she did. Despite all the bureaucratic and logistical hurdles, she pulled off a trip to France to see David, too. If not for the sloth-like pace of the visa process, she might have been there even longer. Over the past five years, she's set goals for the things she wanted and needed to do--finishing IU, working constantly, eating enough to feed a small nation, the Celica, Biloxi, Europe, and so many others. Ada broke every one of those goals, with a tenacity altogether lacking in most people our age. Even now, she's forging ahead with full force, and she'll exceed expectations. Really, it's her strength that keeps us all going, and not the other way around.

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