At the age of 6, I contracted a bone disease, Which left me crippled for several years. My upper left leg bone, had literally rotted away. It was a hard time, because I had so looked forward to going to school...then as soon as I got there, I was pulled out and had to have a tutor teacher come to our home, to be taught. The tutor teacher, was very strict...and rather mean. That is another story.
However, one good thing that the tutor teacher did for me, was introduce me to another girl that she tutored at home. Her name was Janet. Janet was 5-6 years older than I. She was in a wheelchair, and I was on crutches. I looked up to her, since she was older than I. She and I would play games together. I remember playing Go Fish, Sorry, Chinese Checkers, Parcheesi, and Old Maid with Janet for hours on end. Janet was always happy, smiling, and joking around. She had a regular "school room" set up in her home, which is where we played the games. Then in her room, she had a stereo and all the latest records! We would go in there and listen to music.
I would spend the night there sometimes. Her Mom would make us chocolate milk, using Hershey's Syrup (best milk I ever had!), or give us a soft drink and chips. Her brother was a couple of years younger than me, and sometimes he and I would do things together too. I remember one time he tried to teach me to shoot a BB gun, and I accidentally shot him! He didn't even get mad at me! We also made a lot of trips to the "penny candy" store, a few blocks from their home, and he attempted to show me how to play soccer. ( I was very bad at that game!)
Later, my leg began healing, and bone began regenerating where only holes had been. After much therapy, I began walking again. That didn't stop Janet's and my friendship! I still spent the nights, or she would come over to our house. Then when I became a teenager, her Mom told me about a Park's program, where she took Janet during the day. So I volunteered to help there, and as soon as I turned 16, they hired me for the summer to help out. I still played games with Janet:) I worked there for quite a few years during my teen years.
I got married, and moved away from my hometown. I lost track of my friend, Janet. But she always remained on my mind. The hectic hum drum of life, sometimes keeps us from doing those things we should do. One of those was, I wanted to go visit with my friend Janet. I just found out a few days ago, that my friend is gone. She went on to be with the Lord. She was a friend, that taught me to laugh and have fun...even at life's most adverse moments. During a time, when I thought I would be crippled for the rest of my life....she showed me that I would be fine, and life does go on.
To Janet's family, thank you for being you. I know Janet loved each one of you, very much, and that you loved her. You showed it daily. My best childhood memories were in your home, because of the love found there. To Janet, thank you for being a light, during a dark time for me. I know now, you are whole, walking, running, and doing all those things that this world wouldn't let you do. I love you my friend, and will see you again:)