Monday, October 22, 2007

Comes then Goes

I've been thinking a lot about things lately. About my past experiences and the people I knew who are no longer a part of my life. These thoughts led to others, that led to people and experiences, and one person who I'm going to call Brenda.

Brenda was my best friend. We lived on the same street and were the same age and went to the same school. I had one older brother and she had two. Our parents were friends, and they often traded babysitting.

As so many good things must come to an end, we hit a few bumps in our friendship road and I don't know where she is now. But that's not why I'm thinking about her.

Among my random thoughts, I remembered the things we did together. I really remembered that we had been in the same school through eighth grade, but we were never in the same class (schools weren't that big). I always wanted to have a class with her. I was overjoyed when I had the same lunch period with her, but it was never a class. Eight years in the same building with her and it never happened. And I just never understood why.

There is a why, though. and it kind of just hit me, though I've always known it. Brenda was learning challenged, and we would never be in the same class because of it. She read far more books than I. I do remember one time she was 'showing off' and read an entire paper she had written in the reflection of the mirror. I thought it was the coolest thing, and taught myself how to do that too! That's right, faithful blog readers, being able to read backwards and upside down and all that jazz was a skill that I wanted. (For the record, I have difficulty writing that way, but I can read rather well.)

The challenged kids got their own special class. I never thought about it. I always just figured it was the luck of the draw that we were never in the same class. Brenda wasn't different to me, she was my friend, and she could do everything I could do and I never for a second thought that she was any different than anyone else.

Maybe the world was better then; when people were young and hadn't been taught to treat others differently than how they would want to be treated. Sure, children can be very cruel when it comes to differences, but I think that is a learned response. It has to be; my instincts told me that Brenda was just like me. I didn't learn of her unusual skills and think less of her. I thought more of her, actually.

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