Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hi, its Gloria, I am sitting at Ada's bedside and she is resting comfortable.  We are both getting settled for the night.  I thought you would want to know a little about what is going on.

We are now in palliative care for Ada  She is confined to the bed and without pain. She sleeps part of time and then there are the moments when she is still with us.  Her mind is not totally clear (I confess that this is probably the hardest thing for me to deal with) but she does talk a bit, smile at us and can engage in a bit of conversation.  Once in a while, she is a bit anxious, usually at the end of a dosage cycle, but touching, singing or just holding her hand really seem to help.

Since we don't know how much longer we will have her with us, family has been coming in to say goodbye.  Frankly, she actually handles it better than the rest of us.

We read her emails, blog comments, pass on hugs and kisses.  She gets kissed a lot and some of us demand kisses back and so far we have gotten them.

For me the quiet time at the end of the day at her bedside is the best.  Even if she is sleeping, we are together and that is special.  It feels quiet, peaceful and surrounded by all the thoughts and prayers that so many of you have shared with her.

Thanks to all of you for the wonderful comments on her blog, I know that they mean the world to her and all of us in the family also appreciate them.

And so, it is the end of another day on El Camino...


  1. Thank you for this update, Gloria. You all are in my thoughts and prayers. When we were on our South American trip, Ada talked about her family so much that I felt I got to know you some. I am so glad that you are there with her, holding her hand and singing to her. God's blessings on all of you.

    Pam (Brubaker)

  2. Aruna Gnanadason, India

    Thank you so much family and friends of dear Ada Maria for keeping us updated......I was just devastated to hear the news that she is ill. I have known her for many years and have always admired her strength her wisdom and her courage! She has been an inspiration to me and many thousands of women all over the world. Sometimes God's ways are past understanding when this happens to God's best! But, I pray for her and for all of you....please give her my love and a hug. Remind her of the time we together challenged a hall full of male liberation theologians in the Philippines that women count! May God hold her and all of you close at this time of test.

    Aruna Gnanadason (Formerly World Council of Churches, Geneva, now living in Chennai India.)

  3. Dear Gloria,
    Your family has been so generous and loving in sharing Ada's journey with us. I am deeply grateful and assure you of my prayers and affection as you continue this journey on El Camino. Ada has been constantly in my thoughts, prayers and love. Please assure her that I continue to be with her.

    Aruna reminded me of a wonderful moment in the Philippines that I also shared. Ada has been the strong woman among us, and she has been a blessing to many of us.

    Please give her another hug and my carino. And, abrazos for all of you.

    Ana Maria Pineda

  4. Dear Gloria,

    Thanks so much for sharing these steps of Ada's Camino with all of us who are her friends. Ada is in my prayers and thoughts daily, both in gratitude for the gift of her life and the many ways in which she has been life-giving, and also that God will fill her with hope and with peace during these steps of her Camino. Please give her a hug for me!

    Jean-Pierre Ruiz

  5. Dear Gloria, My prayers are with you as well as with Ada as we journey together on El Camino. Know that you and Ada and the whole family are surrounded by love from around the world.

    Dear Ada, you have been with me for decades, in person and in your writings, as an inspiration, mentor, colleague, and sister, and I will always be grateful to you. I can heard your voice in my head (and heart!) as I write today. May peace be with and within you. THANK YOU. GRACIAS.

    With love, and with you,

    Jane Redmont

  6. Dear Ada,
    This is Matthias Beier. I learned so much from you during my studies at Drew University, from your unwavering commitment to justice to the empowering way you believed in your students' abilities, challenging us to claim them, and not hide the light within us. I am so sad and sorry to hear that the chemotherapy treatment has not been effective. I am glad to know that you are without physical pain. I send you my love as a prayer in this difficulty time. If you leave us physically now, as it sounds like you will, please know that I will remember the sparkle in your eyes and my heart is grateful for knowing you. I trust that Love will gently hold you, now and forever. Matthias,

  7. Dear Ada and her wonderful family... This is Judy Welles from Portland, Oregon. I knew Ada for several years through her service on the Board of Trustees of Starr King School, a Unitarian Universalist seminary in Berkeley, CA.

    Ada, you brought such a richness of perspective to out Board, as a Catholic, as a theologian, and as a Mujerista. Your gentleness masked your ferocity, but I admired both! What a loss for the world that you are leaving us, and what a joy and privilege to have known you. Godspeed.

  8. Queridas Ada y Gloria: Gracias por estas noticias que nos acercan a vosotras en estos momentos. Un dia mas de "O caminho", ya estais en la Posada, agotadas del largo viaje ,listas para pasar una noche de reposo y descanso.
    Que gusto saber que devuelves, querida Ada, los besos, TE ENVIO UNO MUYYYYY GRANDE, con todo mi corazon y energia.En tus oraciones, reza por todos nosotros por favor, en especial en este momento por mi hija Rosalia, en cuya casa estuviste en Madrid y que está nuevamente embarazada, que todo le salga bien. Tus oraciones van directas al Cielo.
    Recuerdo cuando regresabamos de Otavalo a Quito ,que pasamos las mas de dos horas cantando canciones de la Tuna , Cuples,Zarzuelas.........................¡¡¡buen repertorio¡¡¡, espero que alguna de ellas esteis cantando estos dias, asi como esas deliciosas Habaneras que llenaron nuestra juventud en España, del sabor Latinoamericano .
    Doy gracias a Dios por haberte conocido, por lo que me has marcado y te felicito por esa maravillosa familia que no te dejan un minuto sola. El Buen Dios este contigo y mi Virgen del Pilar a su lado. Un besote para las dos, Blanca

  9. Querida Ada,
    Aqui te enviamos un poema de Julia de Burgos. Sabemos cuanto te gustan. Recibe u gran abrazo y nuestro amor y cariño. Charito y Alma

    Yo Misma fui mi Ruta
    Poema de Julia de Burgos

    Yo quise ser como los hombres quisieron que yo fuese:
    un intento de vida;
    un juego al escondite con mi ser.
    Pero yo estaba hecha de presentes,
    y mis pies planos sobre la tierra promisoria
    no resistían caminar hacia atrás,
    y seguían adelante, adelante,
    burlando las cenizas para alcanzar el beso
    de los senderos nuevos.

    A cada paso adelantado en mi ruta hacia el frente
    rasgaba mis espaldas el aleteo desesperado
    de los troncos viejos.

    Pero la rama estaba desprendida para siempre,
    y a cada nuevo azote la mirada mía
    se separaba más y más y más de los lejanos
    horizontes aprendidos:
    y mi rostro iba tomando la expresión que le venía de adentro,
    la expresión definida que asomaba un sentimiento
    de liberación íntima;
    un sentimiento que surgía
    del equilibrio sostenido entre mi vida
    y la verdad del beso de los senderos nuevos.

    Ya definido mi rumbo en el presente,
    me sentí brote de todos los suelos de la tierra,
    de los suelos sin historia,
    de los suelos sin porvenir,
    del suelo siempre suelo sin orillas
    de todos los hombres y de todas las épocas.

    Y fui toda en mí como fue en mí la vida…

    Yo quise ser como los hombres quisieron que yo fuese:
    un intento de vida;
    un juego al escondite con mi ser.
    Pero yo estaba hecha de presentes;
    cuando ya los heraldos me anunciaban
    en el regio desfile de los troncos viejos,
    se me torció el deseo de seguir a los hombres,
    y el homenaje se quedó esperándome.

    1. This is absolutely beautiful, and yes, it makes me think of Ada so much! Thank you, thank you for sharing.

  10. Imani Newsome CamaraMay 10, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    I have admired Ada from afar as one might gaze on a heroine. Now I send prayers that she might have strength for this part of the life journey before her. May her life be consumed in the life of Christ and her spirit rest in God's.

  11. Thank you so much Gloria for enabling us to be there when we can't....I have just taken a little time looking at the pictures and writings from the years I spent in a writing group with Ada....we met in New Mexico, New Jersey, San Antonio and Exuma from perhaps 2001-2005.

    Here's something Ada wrote during that time:

    "I have been always a woman full of life, with much physical, intellectual and emotional energy, with an enormous desire to help those in need, and with a passion for justice. Passion for justice, yes! That has been the root of all my problems. Since my childhood I have seen everything that happens to me and that I do through the lens of justice. I never think of complaining because of any other reason. For as long as I can remember, my arguments and complaints always center on the words, "no es justo." My sense of justice throughout my life has gone way beyond a sense of fairness, of equality. My sense of justice always has had to do with being allowed to participate, to contribute, and to be self-defining. "

    I know Ada is being Ada right she slips away. A force of nature slowly leaving....

    Please embrace Ada for me,
    Liz (Bounds)

    PS I am trying to upload a wonderful picture of Ada that Mary Churchill took at may not work....

    1. Liz, thank you for your words and for sharing Ada's words - such an apt self-portrait. We will miss her greatly. Pam

  12. Thank you all of you for doing this, for writing at such a sad time. I went to Cuba in 1999 with Ada and much appreciated her insights, and the stability and groundedness she gave the group. I have valued her writings tremendously. Thanks be for Ada - sending my thoughts and prayers to you all - Rachel Starr.

  13. Gloria, Thank you for keeping us up to date on Ada's condition and journeying with her at this moment. Ada, My name if John Gonzalez and I am a student at CTU now transferring to Fordham's D.Min program on Latino Studies. I cannot tell you how influential you have been in my program on Latino/a theology with your contribution in ethics and mujerista theology. You have and will always be an influence for me and my ministry.
    Peace to you,

  14. Gloria, our thoughts and prayers are with you and all the family as you (and we) face these hard days. Thank you for bringing us into your circle, and for your courage in these days, and love for Ada. Thank you for singing to her and holding her hand.

    This week is the permanent forum on Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations. My colleague Kathleen Stone has worked with indigenous leaders to create beautiful worship in the chapel of the church center for the united nations. Yesterday, a young woman led worship and asked us to light candles, dozens of them, and lift up the women in our lives who have inspired, mentored, nurtured and fed us. Kathleen and I lit candles for Ada, and lifted her up in that holy space. She is Presente in so many places and so many lives. She is a mentor and inspiration to me. Please send her much love.

  15. My husband, James, and I met Ada in seminary many years ago. Though our paths have not crossed recently, whenever I run across her name or hear of her good work, I smile.... remembering the bright, energetic, passionate woman I encountered in seminary. I was saddened to learn of Ada's illness from a prayer posting on a friend's Facebook page, but I am grateful to be able to join those who are keeping Ada's family and friends in prayer. May God hold each of you close and give you peace and comfort. Betty Brewer-Calvert, UTS '84

  16. To the above comment, I add my gratitude to Ada for touching so many lives in deep and meaningful ways... those whom you have never met, those who were in your life for a season, and those who've been fortunate enough to travel with you for a longer part of the journey. Thank you, Ada. Betty Brewer-Calvert, Atlanta GA

  17. Dear Gloria,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to keep us all updated and to be willing to share what's on your heart. Your recent posting reminded me of what Bella Abzug's family did for her in her final days in the hospital - sing her across the threshold into the next phase of her journey.

    From my conversations with Ada over the years, I know she treasures her family so much and the closeness you have. Such loving and tender constant attention from you and other family members is a gift to her and to all of us who love her so much.

    With deep gratitude, and
    wishing you a deep peace at this very special time
    Pam (Sparr)
    Takoma Park, MD

  18. I echo the sentiments of many others and wish to express my gratitude to Gloria and the entire family for their steadfast love, strength and openness to the broader community in this journey with Ada.

    A veces por pena o por cobardia he dejado de decir lo que siento,
    y de pronto los dias pasan y la oportunidad deja de existir.

    Por eso, siendo le fiel a las ideas que tu has sembrado en mi corazon
    yo le doy voz a el cariño que brota de este ser.

    Queridisima hermana Ada,
    Gracias por despertarme a vivir en La Luz de La Lucha.
    Gracias, por acompañarme espiritualmente, en el camino de la liberación~
    con coraje y en solidaridad siempre estare junta a ti.

    Gracias por ser madrina de mi voz teologica en el sendero de Dios.