We recently lost a resident at Parklands named Ada Thurston, and I was thinking about her today. Ada was shameless – if she loved you, she was going to let the world know. Every time I would see her, the first thing she would shout was, “I LOVVVVVVVE YOU!” And she wouldn’t stop there. She would take my hand and kiss it, and say “I missed you so much!”

Allison and I usually aren’t at the nursing home at the same time, but on one occasion we were both there and we ran into Ada in the halls. Ada asked, “Who’s that?” Shyly, I replied, “Ummm…that’s my wife.” All of a sudden this heartbroken look came over Ada’s face. I felt SO bad, but then moments later the look vanished and she exclaimed, “Well, I don’t care, I STILL love you!”

Ada really took this to extremes. I kid you not, it was impossible for me to have a five minute conversation with her without her telling me “I love you!” at least a dozen times. She would sneak it into every sentence. “What did you have for dinner tonight Miss Ada?” Reply: “I don’t know, but I know that I love you!” she would shout like a preacher.

You’d think it would get annoying, but it never did. I’ll tell you, now that she’s gone, something is missing from my visits to Parklands. I miss that ego boost! For all I know, she said that to everyone at the nursing home. I don’t know, and I don’t care either, I enjoyed it just the same.

I think everyone could use an Ada in their life. In fact, I think many of the problems in the world – fighting, depression — would go away if everyone just had someone like Ada. Someone who thinks they are so AWESOME that they just have to shout it out and publicly proclaim it over and over again.

Now that you’re gone, I miss you, Ada. And I’m not afraid to tell the world…I LOVE YOU TOO!