When I was in grade three, I had the most angriest teacher. I am sure that she was from the era where children feared ruler totting nuns. We were learning cursive and I had such a hard time with it. My aunt, who is also left handed, showed me that it was much easier to write if I turned the page at a 180 degree angle and it worked. My teacher, however, told me that it wasn’t the proper way to do it. She yelled at me and told me that I was being rude because I would elbow Sarah B when I wrote in that “ridiculous fashion”. She straightened my page and slapped my pencil on the desk.
“You’re staying here until you get this right!” she barked.
My palms sweat as I meticulously traced q’s over and over during recess time. It was exhaustingly repetitious. I just couldn’t do it as perfectly as she wanted it to be. I panicked every time I caught a glance of her out the corner of my eye rubbing her wrinkly angry ugly forehead. The clock ticked louder and faster when I saw the kids congregating just outside the entrance. As the bell rang, she snatched my page, “tsk tsk’ed” me and tossed the paper in the trash.
Before the next recess, I begged Sarah to trace them for me when the teacher wasn’t looking.
I handed in my work with a devious smile, and for the first time in a week (which seemed like an eternity as a kid), I was allowed to play outside. This was just one of many mischievous moments that Sarah and I had helped the other out. Just like any child attached to the hip of their best friend, we swore that we would get married, buy houses next to each other, and have lots of children.
The last time I heard, Sarah was a doctor studying to be a cardiovascular surgeon.
Friends come and go but that bag of cookies you plowed through will stick to your ribs forever.
Or something, something like that.
I’ve had a lot of friends in my life thus far but just like a dusty old fart in the wind, some just never lingered in the room.
How do you like that for a quote on a mug?
Each friendship came with great adventures and oh the things I had learned like drinking does not make you a good dancer…
…on top of a bar…
…in platform (it was cool at the time) shoes.
At each turn in my life, break-ups, late night bar puking, that one time I…never mind, graduations, surgeries, marriages, birth, illness, and so on, I can recall that friend(s) who was there sharing that part of my journey as do I remember sharing parts of their journey.
I may never see or hear from Sarah B, Sarah T, Sarah V, or Vanessa, “the rat”, “petch”, “gumby”, GP, Tool Belt, Blood Barf (Lindsay, who on her first day of clinical, saw blood and passed out), etc., and yes, that does make me sad.
Even though our friendships didn’t last, I will never forget the impact that they had.
They opened the doors to new adventures…
…and to new friends.