In loving memory of Alicia Ross
Alicia and Trisha

Trisha's Eulogy for Alicia

Leesh,

When my dad and your mom married 14 years ago, I would have never thought that you and I would end up like we are today. At first, I was scared of you when we had an argument and I would make sure that I kept as far away from you as possible.

I remember one December break when your mom took you, Jamie and me to Ellicotville, New York to go skiing. Your mom took Jamie skiing in the glades and let us go on our own under the condition that we wouldn't do anything dangerous. She said "Stick to the green runs." Well, we were only about 11 years old, so what did we do? We went to a double black diamond hill called "The Wall". On the way up in the chair lift all we kept saying to each other was how happy we were to be sisters and how much we will miss each other because we didn't think that we were going to make it down alive. Once we got up to the top of the hill we looked down and realized that it would be a better idea if we went bottom first. So, we took off our skis and went down the hill on our bottoms. We did make it down that hill and at the end I remember I had a huge smile on my face. I am sure one reason was that we actually made it down the hill, but the other is because it was then that I realized that you were happy we were sisters. So was I.

Growing up with you was a gift to me. We had our moments like any two sisters, but I know exactly when our relationship took a 180. About seven years ago I visited you in Montréal when you were living on your own. For the first time, we spoke like friends. You showed me how much you had grown up, and I saw the amazing person you were becoming. Since then, our relationship only got stronger.

The last card that I received from you was for my birthday before I left for Australia. You wrote "Dear Dish, it's true you are the best sister I could have ever hoped for. I can honestly say that you have helped me become a better person. I hope you know what our relationship means to me — I love you so much." And I love you too Leesh. We are a team.

Alicia, you have helped me to become a better person as well and you have taught me so much. You experienced so much in your life and your ability to be so strong, your continued zest for life, your adventurous character and your warm kind heart have all impacted my life. I learned them all from you. You taught me to take chances and to live each day to the best of my ability. But above all, I know how precious and lucky I have been to have had you in my life.

Over the years our relationship of being step-sisters to sisters turned into a true and amazing friendship. It was during the four days we spent in Nassau this past December, when it struck me how much our respect and admiration for one another and our friendship had grown.

I know how happy and proud you were of me going to Australia because I was about to experience what you already had, and loved so much. While I was away, we talked on the phone and MSN. I just knew that you had a big smile on your face when we would talk about what I had done so far, and that you were enjoying telling me where to go and what to see next. I was so nervous about going, and if it wasn't for your encouragement, I wouldn't have gone.

Alicia and Trisha How proud and happy you were for me is reciprocated to a degree I can't even begin to express. I saw you turn into an amazing daughter, sister, friend and all around good person. Anyone that had the opportunity to have had a few words with you, hang out with you for a few moments, saw you laugh, smile and/or listened to your amazing voice while playing the guitar is more fortunate for having been with you.

I miss our MSN and e-mails chats, chilling and laughing, sitting on the bench outside your room night after night, meeting at the gym for a work-out, feeding each other advice and above all – I miss you. I will always think of the good times that we had together and how fortunate I have been for having lived 14 years of my life with you.

Alicia, you've been taken from everyone that loves you too fast and too young, but I know that you are watching down over everyone that you love, and that you know how much we all love and miss you.

Not a day will go by that a thought or memory of you will not be on my mind. To everyone here today, continue to remember Alicia's smile, laugh, her presence, and the good times you have spent with her, how she has impacted your life, and keep my sister's spirit alive.