i've had the time of my life with you

Guess what. This is my 100th post. Ever. A few weeks ago I noticed that it was approaching and wondered what I should do to commemorate it, or if I'd even acknowledge it at all. Of course, my life has been drastically altered then. I had no way of knowing the gaping hole that would be present at this time. To be honest, I'd considered the possibility of losing one of my siblings. But I was certain that after all I'd lost this year, after all I'd been through, there was no way that would happen.


So in honor of special things, this special post is going to be about a special person.

Miss Jada Mortensen.

What do I say about Jada? How do you sum up a life, characteristics and mannerisms, a personality? You don't. You just remember things as they come to you.
We used to call her Jada Bell [as in Tinker Bell] because she was so dang tiny. I remember once in 6th grade she tried to convince people, teachers included, that her legal middle name was, in fact, Bell.

My favorite thing about Jada is that she was so unique. She hardly looked like us. She looked like a little pixie as a kid, with her big ears and tiny nose. She never looked identical the way Kenyan and I do or the way Aria and Alyssa do. She had her own features. She was the little one, the barely-five-foot one. She basked in it, took pride in it.
She was unique among her friends. She was kind to everyone. She was positive and bubbly. Ill always remember dropping her off at school--we had to scope out the kids lingering along the car drop off line and see who was leaning against what fence. This determined where I dropped her off, what song we would play, and how loud we'd crank it. I miss the way she bounced as she ran to and from the car, hopping in and flipping her bangs out of her face and turning up her favorite song.

She was good at what she did. A good artist, talented musician and singer, Spanish better than mine. Everything she did she did with purpose, laboring diligently to sincerely do her best. She shared, she cared, and she constantly updated her Facebook status with song lyrics.
[This is the last picture I ever took of her. Of course, it would be a sucky one where you can't even see her face...haha]
She loved everyone. Literally loved. She had a million best friends and every day she'd tell me new stories of new best friends. She had a big heart for such a little body. I'm so honored to have been her big sister. It made me feel so cool when she wanted me to do her hair, take her shopping, when she wanted to be like me and do what I did. Its cool when someone cool thinks you're cool.

She had an excellent mind. She was clever and quick witted and had a good memory. She was the best person to have inside jokes with because she'd remember everything so well. She quoted movies with me, word for word, and she'd just learned the words to the fast part of Danza Kuduro before we embarked on our trek. She was so proud.

She accomplished things in her 14 years that I haven't accomplished in any of mine. She learned to stand up for herself. To love purely. To love her siblings more than herself. Sometimes I'd think about the things she's done, the ways she's shown love, and I'd cry. And this was when she was still better believe its worse now. Haha.
[This was the last family picture we took, the night before the accident. Let's just pretend Faith is actually Alyssa and then it'll be a real family pic :)]
She left in the best possible way. She'd had going away parties, told her friends how much she loved them, and spent the last few weeks of her life hanging out with us. The day she died she painted her nails red and wore her hair in pigtails--two things I'd never seen her do. I wonder why she did that. I didn't ever ask.

There are thousands of things I could say about her-- her likes and dislikes and friends and memories. I could spend forever just remembering the way she'd stand with her hand on her hip and push her bangs out of her face, the way she bit her nails, her happy smile and turkey cough laugh. But I'll save it. Because everyone who knew her has good memories. Everyone loved and cherished her. She was loved by everyone. I just want to be like her when I grow up.

I love you Jada!
[Title from Long Live by Taylor Swift]


  1. Bridian, what a wonderful commemoration. You did an excellent job. I am happy to share my wonderful memory of having you all over for swimming and a movie. I got to hug Jada telling her she was "my favorite" quite possibly because she was once in my CTR primary class. I love you all and can tell you we are all better for having known Jada.

  2. That is a beautiful post and tribute to a beautiful girl.

  3. love this post. love you. I remember meeting Jada at your grandparents over thanksgiving. she got my phone number and text me throughout y'alls visit.
    but my favorite memory is seeing a status update from the primary song I love to see them temple, then seeing a picture with the temple and a scripture.
    what a girl, what a person.

  4. Brid! This is so sweet! you're amazing!

  5. I love this. Thanks for writing!

  6. JFK OR JERRY (my nicknames)October 24, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    i know i dont know you. but i sortve knew Jada. i talked to her once, twice or three times. she made me laugh. and she didnt eat the cupcake. i know this is late. if you wonder who i am ask kenyan, the kid who had a crush on kenyan. we all miss Jada. Thank you for writing this.JFK