In the middle of the 8th grade I transferred to a new school.
I still remember the outfit I wore on my first day: black Guess jeans, a pink and white Guess shirt, and some pretty funky-trendy boots.
I was so cool.
In addition to my incredible fashion choices, I also remember one of the first people I met. Her name was Adora. She was kind and welcoming, introduced me to several people, and went out of her way to make sure that I didn’t feel left out.
Adora and I quickly became friends, and not long after that we became sisters.
My house was her house, and hers was mine. My mom was her mom, and hers was mine. My brother was her brother, and hers was mine.
I had her back, and she had mine.
One of the things that I first admired about Adora was her capacity to be genuinely happy for other people. At the end of 8th grade we both tried out for the Colorguard at the high school. After a two-week clinic, the day of tryouts finally arrived. We were nervous – there were 60 girls trying out for 20 spots – but we were also excited. Adora helped me braid my hair, and we went over and over the routine.
At the end of the day, the list was posted, and Adora and I rushed out into the parking lot. We found my mom and Adora jumped up and down, so excited that I had made the team.
Finally my mom asked Adora if she had made the team, too. She said that she had, and there was more giggling and jumping.
But Adora’s first excitement was for me.
And that’s just how she was. At the end of the year when she was recognized for being the only freshman to make the Varsity team, she was more excited for her friends receiving other awards.
When she was named Captain, she was more excited for her friend who was named Lieutenant.
She thought of others first.
Adora always inspired me to try and be a better person. She didn’t gossip, she worked hard, and she knew how to have fun.
Our Senior year in high school, I decided to quit the Colorguard. I will never forget the conversation I had with my director when I told him my decision.
“I understand what you are saying,” he said. “And I’m sure you’ll be fine. I only hope this doesn’t cause a strain in your friendships, because I know your best friends are all on the Guard. Especially Adora. You two are tight.”
“I’m not worried about that,” I said. “Our friendship is beyond Colorguard.”
Twenty-three years and countless memories later, I think it is safe to say I was right.
I still deeply admire Adora, and one of the greatest honors of my life was standing up with her when she married Josh.
The verse that reminds me of Adora is Proverbs 31:16:
She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
Now, it’s kind of funny that this verse makes me think of her, because I have no idea what she does for a living.
I know her title, but I don’t know what it means. I know the name of her company, but I don’t know what they do. I know it involves math – lots and lots of math – but I don’t know how or why or what.
What I do know, though, is that she works hard. She travels, she attends conferences, and she is well respected.
But her work does not define her.
She is a wife, she is a mother of two precious boys, and she is a fierce Golden State Warriors fan.
She is a sister, she is a daughter, and she is a friend.
She shows me the importance of working hard and doing my best in my career, yet keeping the first things first and living a full and balanced life. She teaches me to help support my family however I can, yet not lose sight of who I am.
Adora still inspires me to try and be a better person. Every day.
She is a woman of noble character and I am honored to still call her my sister and friend.
See you soon.