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What happened to my friend? (long)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
When I was very young I remember playing with a little boy in the neighborhood. He's a shadowy memory, but like most childhood memories there are a few flashes that are clear, and I can glimpse his face when the moment hits me right. What I remember the most was that he was a nice friend. He was fun and gentle and never said anything unkind and never made me feel bad.

We spent hours playing in the cool sand in the shed in his back yard, while the Texas sun blazed like a furnace outside. We played store and put our items for sale on the wooden planks of the shed. We pretended we had a restaurant and cooked our sand food. We giggled and imagined, and never ran out of ideas of what to play.

When I started first grade, he wasn't there to start school with me. I don't remember asking where he was but I do know I never received a satisfactory answer. I lived in Smalltown, Texas, and all the children in the area went to one small school. Where was he?

After four decades, I began to wonder if he had even been real. Maybe he had been an imaginary friend? No one else ever mentioned him.

I brought up the subject to my mother. Did she remember a boy I used to play with when I was very little? "He lived nearby," I said, "we used to play before I started school." Did she remember any one like that?

She said she remembered very clearly. She said she remembers his mother driving him by our house to the hospital so often. He had leukemia, and he died before he turned six, so that's why he never started school. She said he was a kind and gentle child; his mother adored him, and she said that he loved when I came over to play with him. It was such a tragedy that they never told me about it.

It's funny how a little kid can know that things are not right, even when nobody will tell her anything. It is amazing how the mind doesn't let go of something when it doesn't add up, or when it's unresolved.

I hope I was a good friend for him during his brief life. I wish I knew how to reach his mother because I would love to write her a letter telling her that even through all these years, her son is remembered with much fondness by his friend.
post #2 of 5
Wouldn't it be lovely if you could do that, Cat. Somehow I think it would not be a surprise to his mother that he had that effect, only that all these years later someone managed to get in touch -- and I think it would be very special to her.

What a lovely memory of your time together.
post #3 of 5
You've been a good friend to him all these years, carrying that loving memory with you long after he was gone.
post #4 of 5
Aw i remember my best friend back then, she was my neighbour though and never kept in contact since we left, I don't know if she still lives there, last year i didnt dare to knock on their door, was too afraid, as our house was up for sale again! I often wonder about her.

I think it would be nice if you wrote to his mother.
post #5 of 5
I had a friend before I went to school, and they moved just before we started first grade. It was not a long trip, so our pants would arrange visits during the summer for me to go down there for 2 weeks. The last time I went, were at the beginning of our rebellious teen years, got in some kind of mischief, caught smoking, or some such nonsense, so we were forbidden to visit each other any more. After a few letters and phone calls, we drifted apart. I often wonder about her.
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