Childhood memories

A wonderful woman I follow on twitter prompted her followers to share their childhood memories yesterday. She asked that we keep it to the happy memories. She’s a really positive person, which I love her for, and wanted to send out only happiness to the twittersphere (something that’s often hard to do).

I came up with two, but the one that has brought me here is both happy and sad. I tweeted the following”

“Only one to make friends with girl with cancer in gradeschool. Became best pals. So sad when she passed. #childhoodmemories”

When I was in third and fourth grade, there was a young girl in my class who had cancer. Looking back, I don’t remember what kind of cancer she had, only that she walked with crutches, and her hair thinned and then started to fall out and I can’t remember her name. I didn’t know what was going on in her life, and I never asked why she was sick or why her hair was falling out. All I do remember was that the other kids tended to stay away from her. I guess they were afraid.

I have always been one of those shy kids who keeps to herself. I’d prefer to be alone on the playground playing with my toys rather than searching out other kids. She was a shy kid too, but thinking back on that as an adult I wonder if she was shy because her illness made her stand out and be different or because she was shy.

Either way, she and I became friends. I can remember spending time with her on the playground. I can remember helping to carry her things as we changed classes. Somewhere along the 3rd grade/4th grade we started to switch classrooms for subjects rather than stay in the same room with the same teacher all day long. With her crutches, she couldn’t carry much. I was more than happy to help. I didn’t have to be asked. She was my friend and I wanted to help her.

We moved out of state when I was in fifth grade, and I had to leave all of my friends at school. She was the one I was most sad about leaving. I wrote to her only a couple of times after the move. I would have written more, but shortly after we moved away, she died. I can remember the letter her mother sent to me to let me know that my friend had died. The thing that I can remember now as clear as when I was 9, was that her mother thanked me for being a friend to her daughter, and how I’d helped her to have a wonderful time at school. I was so sad that she’d died, but more sad that I hadn’t been there to help her through whatever happened at the end.

Shortly after getting the letter, I started to keep a journal. I keep one to this day, although not as often as I used to now that I have kids. My first entry was about my friend with cancer who had died. I need to find that journal, if only to find her name and maybe get in touch with her mother. It’s been a very long time, but I can still remember spending time with my friend. As a mother now, I feel like it might be of some comfort that although her daughter’s life was short, she touched me so deeply that I have never ever forgotten her.

About rocketsciencemom
I am a rocket scientist in my day job, and a mother of two all the time. I'm a pop culture addict and amateur artist in my spare time. My typical preferences tend toward sci-fi and fantasy genres but I love a good drama or comedy. Reading the blogs of fellow Lost fans over the years has motivated me to finally write my own. All drawings and images on this blog are property of RocketScienceMom

One Response to Childhood memories

  1. Amazing sweetness from childhood….kids can be cruel…and kids can be wise, wonderful and honoring

    I don’t know what happened to my little friend. I have a feeling that her home life was something terrible..and she was so shocked she barely knew what to do with a person who was personable to her..

    I think that the most challenged souls, are some of the greatest ones..and it is an honor to recognize them….in this life..

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