Posted by: marinmom | November 5, 2007

Lonely road

Last night a childhood friend died. We were no longer close and we had not seen each other for 30 years. But, I would have recognized him on the streets of his town, Spokane Washington. He had spastic cerebral palsy and had an unmistakable gait.

Our mothers were close friends and he was frequently my playmate. At the time, of course, I knew something was different with him, but I didn’t think about it or worry about it. We ran in the fields, fought and chattered together. We were part of two large families and he was just part of the grand “us.” I hadn’t thought of him for a long time until my sister called to say he had died.

He had a lasting impact on my life. As a ski instructor, I was always given the kids who needed extra help, I volunteered in college at a home for disabled adults and I thought about becoming a speech therapist a few years ago.  My childhood friendship taught me patience, empathy and compassion.  I know I will soon forget this sadness, we were no longer close, but I will remember his brightnesspite the obstacles of his disease.

I am a better person because he was part of my life.  He is missed.


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