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The Gift of a Friend

This Christmas season, instead of wishing for gifts from others, I have been reflecting on gifts I have already received. One of the most priceless is my childhood friend, Katie.

How many people can boast they have had a genius for a friend? Katie really is. Her older brother taught her to work algebra problems before she started school. But I’m getting ahead of the story.

Both parents of this modest childhood prodigy were medical doctors. However, after her parents’ divorce, Katie was raised by her mother. The child showed such intellectual prowess that her mother hired a tutor to teach Katie first-grade-level curriculum when the tot was three years old. At age six, Katie entered third grade in public school. That’s where our friendship began.

I was the smallest child in my class, and therefore, about the size of the six-year-old entering our room that year. We struck up a friendship which has remained until this day.

My friend had several reasons to act superior if she had wanted to. Instead, she downplayed all her accomplishments. She graduated from high school at age 16 and earned her pilot’s license before she became old enough to drive a car.

I owe so much to the mother-daughter duo who took it upon themselves to befriend a sheltered farm kid. Under their influence—taking me to cultural events, speaking in proper English instead of our familiar Hoosier farm twang—I developed skills necessary for success in college and the workplace.

Most remarkably, when Katie and I became so busy that our communication lapsed for several years, we picked up the thread and reconnected as though we had never let it drop.

Yes, I have been blessed by having this one-of-a-kind friend for nearly all my life. A person can have many acquaintances, but if she has one true friend, she is fortunate indeed.

What about you? Have any one-of-a-kind friends? Join the conversation below.

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