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Friends for Life

Social isolation has made most of us glad for friends we can count on, even if they’re far away. One of my favorite friends is a childhood pal, Katie.

How many people can boast they used to hang around a genius? 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. Their daughter showed such intellectual prowess that her mother hired a tutor to teach Katie elementary curriculum when the tot was only three years old. At age six, Katie entered third grade in public school. That’s where our friendship began.

What a break that I was the smallest child in my third-grade class. The six-year-old new student and I probably were about the same size. We struck up a friendship which has remained until this day. It also helped that our last names started with the same letter. That meant the teachers would seat us near one another.

My friend has several reasons to act superior if she wanted to. Instead, she downplays 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. She taught computer science at the college level.

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. I even picked up a bit of manners, to the relief of those around me.

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.

I have been blessed by this one-of-a-kind friend nearly all my life. You can have many acquaintances, but if you have one true friend, you are fortunate indeed.

How about you? Do you still keep in contact with childhood friends? Feel free to comment below.


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