Reviving Youth

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The distant whines and murmurs from toddlers wanting to leave in the back rows were ignored as I intently watched the scene that would determine the fate of some of the most beloved characters I had grown up with. As the brave souls joined hands as they reached the end, I sat cringing in the crevice of my seat waiting for the suspense to die- in hopes that they would not. I didn’t want to lose another piece of my youth even if they were just animations. Seeing Buzz Light-year and Woody, everyone’s childhood friends from the world of Toy Story, reunited and protecting one another, I reflected on why this was so important to me.

Three years earlier my childhood friend had passed away.

Bryn and I had met as toddlers and our companionship stayed strong as we enjoyed imagining our lives as Disney movies, keeping every moment blissful. When she broke the news of her departure for another school I was devastated to lose my best friend. But still, I kept optimistic and told her she would always be the Buzz to my Woody.

Eventually I lost that sense of elation of being a child and wanted nothing more than to grow up. Slowly we drifted apart while Bryn was stuck in the middle of her Disney movie, and I was just waiting for the credits to roll. And sadly, after several years, our communication was diminished to “How are you?” and “Good” being the only words exchanged.

While I am sure that her response, “Good,” was true most of the time, Bryn’s health would have said otherwise. On that summer day three years ago, my parents received a call letting us know that Bryn had once again been hospitalized and a few hours later her passing was announced. I promise I wanted to cry, I really did, but she represented the part of me that I so badly wanted to be rid of. I admit I was an awful person for having such thoughts and for not shedding one tear, but I wasn’t heartless; I was just scared.

Still I went to the funeral to give my condolences to her family, and as I approached them, I noticed out of the corner of my eye pictures of the past, and half of them were of me. When I saw our two cheery faces squished together in moments of delight, tears uncontrollably streamed down my face as I reminisced all of the enjoyable times we shared together and how important we were to each other. It was that moment that started the floods of tears that washed away the previous drought my eyes had experienced. I remembered what a free spirit she had been and when I was with her anything was possible when we lived young. She could find the easiest ways of escaping- even just for a moment- from her illnesses or family problems. Right then, I made a vow to Bryn and myself that I would no longer try to be someone I am not, that I would not lose friends just because I find slight differences with them, and I would no longer want to runaway from being a child.

As Toy Story ended and Andy had to give up Woody I cried, realizing what it symbolized. All he had to do was let go of a toy, but that toy had been his friend, just as Bryn had been mine. They each represented a part of my past and who I was and who I still am. She had taught me to be a dreamer, and that is who I continue to be.

Though Bryn is no longer with me, I keep those memories dear to my heart as I fill out applications for college and get ready to graduate, preparing for a new part of my life. The realization of adulthood is coming upon me but the feeling of being young and innocent will always stay in my heart.





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