You were my very first childhood friend. We used to live across a dirt road from each other in Ponca City, Oklahoma when we were four years old. I still have that black and white picture of us with our new cowboy boots on standing next to the Christmas tree when we had just turned five. We spent countless summer days together. On those scorcher days in August we would walk to the corner grocery store where we would get our dream sickles. We would walk back slurping in repetition before they melted down to that white part inside. I always thought that the white part was the best. Mom would take my brother Tim and I to see you and your Mom during the winter months. She would load me on one side of her hip and Tim on the other to balance our body weight. Sometimes there were drifts of snow up to the middle of Mom’s legs and we would still come to visit. Our fingers would be frozen even with the socks for gloves that Mom placed over our hands. Your grandmother used to have all those canaries and little finches that she had in the room next to yours. The door to her room was always closed. I wondered many times if she might have been growing some illegal birdseed in there since the door stayed shut most of the time. I always wanted to take a peek in her room but she seemed like such a mean old lady and I thought it would be better not to try to resolve my curiosity.
I saw you at Dad’s funeral a few years ago after he passed away from his battle with lung cancer. Thanks for being such a great childhood friend and thanks for remembering Dad and the family at his passing. You called me for several days after he had passed away just to check and see how I was doing. I never returned your phone call though because I was just too down to talk to you. I will always remember you my friend.
Life does get busy as we get older and many times we forget about those days of growing up and the childhood bonds that we made when we were younger. Sometimes it’s a good idea to slow life down and reflect on those times. Maybe all it takes to rekindle an old relationship is to pick up the phone and place a call. Someone has to make the first move.