Tuesday, January 31, 2012

RemembeRED: Rare Gems

Prompt:  This week, we’d like you to explore friendship. You can talk about a current friendship or one from your past, a friend you met over kindergarten snacks or happy hour at your first job. Examine your emotional interest in the friendship and the role it plays, or played, in your life.



The Army is a hard place for a kid.  Your dad or mom gets tossed around, sometimes in an arbitrary manner, and the family has to go with them, even if it means ripping their roots right out of the ground.  Just about the time I would get comfortable with a place, just about the second that I made a new friend, my dad would come home and announce that we were moving yet again. 

The friends I had just made would tell me that they would miss me.  They would cry and they would promise to write every day.  My family would drive off, and I would be in the backseat with the addresses of all of those friends who promised to write me every day. 

They never did. 

I wrote them letters for awhile, homesick, hoping to hear anything except the silence of an empty mailbox.  One day I just stopped looking.  I gave up expecting that anyone meant it when they said they would remember me, or that our friendship had meant something, so that the next time my family had to move again, I wouldn't get hurt.

Then I met Cathy.  She was much cooler than I was, which meant that she had nicer glasses and was allowed to wear real blue jeans.  We were in a few classes together, and somehow she decided that we should be friends.  I was skeptical, but she slowly won me over, and before I knew it, she was my best friend.  Almost as soon as I realized that, my dad came home and announced that we were moving to Washington, D.C.

I was heartbroken. Again.  My last day at Kirby Junior High,  Cathy and I walked to the bus together, holding hands, even though it wasn't cool to do that.  She started crying, and said that she would miss me and she promised to write.  I started crying as well, and I hugged her as hard as I could, because I expected that would be the very last time I ever saw Cathy again.  A halfhearted optimist at heart, I wrote her a letter once we were settled in our next home. 

And she wrote me a letter back.  She really was my friend.

10 comments:

  1. ack, this tugged at my cold heart. i wasn't an army kid but i went to 7 different schools in my time so i completely understand this. yay for Cathy. are you guys still friends?

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    1. Yes, Cathy is still putting up with me!

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  2. "She was much cooler than I was, which meant that she had nicer glasses and was allowed to wear real blue jeans." What a great line! And love that she didn't give up on you... Cathy sounds great!

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  3. I can't imagine how happy you must have been to get Cathy's return letter in the mail. Have all of those people disappoint you was probably hard, but worth it to work through all of those people to find a genuine friend.

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  4. Something you didn't expect. Such a sweet story in the end.

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  5. God, I can't imagine having to move like that all the time. Yay for Cathy and real, true friends.

    (Visiting from WOE)

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  6. I just had one friend who moved away when I was a kid, and it still tugs at my heart strings. I am glad that you and Cathy stayed friends. Very cool story.

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  7. Awww I already commented goosebumps on a post but I have to say it again. This was sooooooo sweet,

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