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I Thought It Would Be Forever

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I remember an old childhood friend I met in the hospital. He was tall with lanky appendages. His hair was brown and bushy like a squirrels’ tail, with beautiful brown eyes to match. His voice sounded like an angel singing.

I was about three or four when I met him, but he had met my mom while I was in surgery. I could hear faint whispers as I was awaking. I lay there with the blankets tucked tightly around my body and pulled back under my arms. He walked over and sat a tiny little object on my chest. He played with it for just a second and it began to hop around my chest with a rumbling feeling; it was vibrating. The soft vibrating object made me jump and open my eyes, and there he was, Chris Price. I looked down at the small white rabbit with pink ears and its paws in the praying position. I didn’t even hesitate before naming him Cotton. At that moment I knew we would be friends forever. Later when I felt better I was sent home, leaving Chris, my new friend, behind.

I must say that I was a very fragile and sickly child. It wasn’t much longer and I was back in the Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. I was admitted to room number 4730, and to my disbelief Chris was in 4731. Any other time we were in the hospital together, we always somehow ended up in rooms near each other. I had made so many memories with Chris. They will always be the most special to me because he was the only and first friend I had at the time, because I wasn’t very skilled at making friends. One specific memory, like how we met, I remember like yesterday. Every seven days at Children’s the Cystic Fibrosis patients could order out on the town, and on this night I ordered Red Lobster. They brought my food and Chris thanked me, playing, for getting him supper too. I told him it was all mine, even the lobster, and he sulked off. Out of a joke I got on my little green tractor tricycle and sped off to his room. I knocked and gave him the sack with the empty lobster tail in it. It was so funny how he really believed I got him one, only to find an empty tail, we laughed like Ed from The Lion King. After that we always joked about how he was mad when I gave him an empty lobster tail.

I still remember the last time I ever saw Chris; I was in the fifth grade. I was in the hospital for my last day and I heard loud noises and scrambling of feet outside my room. Being nosy I had to look, I still regret looking to this day! I saw the helicopter crew bringing in a barely breathing twenty year old boy. He looked so lifeless on the bed, no movement but blinking eyes. He was covered with many tiny wires, all leading to a different part of his body. He was breathing from a machine; I could hear the soft whispering sound of the ventilator moving air in and out of his lungs. He didn’t look like the Chris I knew, he looked like a robot. I went home the next day, while Chris slowly died. “He will get better,” I always told myself, but I guess I didn’t pray hard enough. A few days later I was in Murfreesboro, Arkansas because my first best friend lost his life long battle with Cystic Fibrosis.

I guess I learned that nothing in our lives will be forever. People come and go as the wind blows, even if it hurts. All we can do is cherish what we have while we have it.





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