How many times those first early weeks would I say over and over again, "thank God for my sister. I don't what I would have done without my sister. I couldn't have gotten through this without my sister." Grateful words spoken honest from my heart, but which were overheard by the shattered soul of the innocent child who had just lost her one and only sister. My words must have felt like daggers.
When Jadrian was struggling in school and the fallout of bullying, Avery was her biggest proponent, her strangest ally, her loudest cheering section. I don't know how Avery did it, but she could evoke giggles and silliness like it was nothing at all. She allowed Jadrian to forget, for just a few hours while they were together, the heartache waiting her in the halls of a school she dreaded, and just simply enjoy being a kid. Just another day being sisters together.
Jadrian was older sister, teacher, protector. She was the safe place for Avery to turn. As sisters, they would team up together and organize protests against the unfair treatment they received when I ordered them to clean their room or vacuum the living room. Together they giggled behind my back about my out of style hat I insisted on wearing out in public and that fact that my baked chicken only ever tasted like packing peanuts.
The very best one possible.
I can tell you that no one feels more responsibility, and guilt, and regret, and remorse about that fateful day than Jadrian, and I pray every single day that she can break past those lying emotions and find the ones that give her light again.