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When Floods and Famine Occur

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It was eight thirty on a Wednesday morning during early June when my parents woke me up. Their excuse was that they had important information to share to the entire family. I trudged my way up the stairs, franticly running through names in my mind to tring to think of who in my family had died or was seriously sick. Once I sat down, I realized that the entire family meant everyone except my older brother who was still asleep because he was working until midnight the previous night, lucky him. My parents shared one of their looks. This is usually followed by something they do not want to talk about because it is a difficult topic. The news flooded through my ears and into my mind. My dad had quit his job.


We moved to Nebraska during the summer of 1997, when I was only six-and-a-half years old. On the first day of first grade, I met some of my closest friends. I loved to play with them and have sleepovers as often as our parents would let us. We watched our chicks hatch in first grade. We celebrated Mother’s Day together by having a Mother’s Day Tea Party in second grade where we all wrote poetry for our mothers. In third and fourth grade, my friends and I tried out for the school talent show and made it. In fifth grade, we shared our fears with each other when the terrorists attacked on September 11. In sixth grade, we grew close while at Outdoor Education and other camps together. From seventh grade on, we were in different classes, but we always sat with each other during lunch and talked whenever we could. When one of my friends moved away, we all planned to go with her. We always dreamed about “what if’s” and envisioning a past, present, and future that would never happen. What if we were all sisters? What if we all moved and met even more girls like us? We shared so many hopes and dreams together, and felt that nothing would ever come between us. I always hated the barren, famine-like feeling of loss after she left.


Last summer, after my parents broke the news about the possible move, I was a counselor at a summer camp for girls. I was in a cabin with some of my closest friends and shared a campsite with even more. I cried so much over the course of that week. My friends and I were remembering some of our best moments together. I never realized how close we really were. I guess I just took it for granted. The only thing that ran through my mind that week at camp was that I might never be able to see some of those friends ever again. I may never be able to do anything with them again. It could be a long time until we even saw each other again. There was no ray of hope to be seen. I could not keep the emotions within me. I cried myself to sleep every night. My friends were upset and cried as well. Seeing the mascara streaks running down their faces and their puffy, blood-shot eyes only made me cry harder.


Sitting at the campfire on the last night, I decided that crying would not change anything. Even though I might have been moving, I could still talk to my friends. If my family moved, I would be able to make new memories with new friends. I wanted my friends’ last memories of me to be positive, happy ones, not sad and depressed. I wanted to be happy and make the most out of the time that I had left with my best friends.


About a month later, I was at a camp for youth at the Kansas University campus. I was sitting at a table in the cafeteria with some of my new friends from all over the Midwest when my parents called. They informed me that my dad would be working at a clinic only a few blocks away from where we live, so we would not be moving. I was filled with joy; I could not contain it. I saw Kaity, one of my old friends from home, and immediately ran up to her to tell her the news. She sprung all around the cafeteria shouting at the top of her lungs. She did not care that everyone was staring at her. I was not moving. I wanted to call all of my friends back in Nebraska, but I had to go to a workshop. That night, while getting ready for the evening’s activities, I called some of my closest friends, whom I met on that first day of first grade. They shouted joyous phrases and then demanded that we all go out and celebrate over ice cream. Since then, my friends and I have become even closer and we now share even more memories.


What Charlie Brown told Snoopy describes my friendship with my wonderful and understanding buddies. He said, “Are you upset little friend? Have you been lying awake worrying? Well, don't worry...I'm here. The flood waters will recede, the famine will end, the sun will shine tomorrow, and I will always be here to take care of you.”





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