Love of a friend

Published 4:08 am Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Nobody wants to change schools. At least I didn’t. And especially at that awkward in-between stage when all the other girls seemed so sophisticated, and I was not.

I thought perhaps one day I would grow into my skin and feel comfortable. One fine day my freckles would fade, and my knobby knees would appear less so.

But did a person’s knees really change over time, or did one just grow accustomed to them? It was my heart’s desire to appear confident even if I didn’t feel so. It was such an uncomfortable time, between childhood and that of a young woman.

And at that very time my family moved. And to make matters worse we did so over the summer. That meant that all the kids who converged on the junior high school from various elementary schools would come hand in hand with their friends. Everyone, except me and any other unfortunate kid who moved over the summer.

My family always attended church, so shortly after our move we found a neighborhood church. Lucky for me I sat next to a brown-haired beauty in Sunday school. She was lovely and so full of poise that I felt even more gangly around her.

Anne asked me to spend the night, and the giggles that escaped us caused her Dad to call down the hall for quiet more than once.

What a happy moment when I started seventh grade and stared into a sea of strangers’ faces to spot one bright pair of eyes looking for me.

Anne and I were soon inseparable. Where you saw one of us you saw the other. We have stood together through the happy times and the sad ones. A lasting friendship like ours is a true gift.

I’m visiting my daughter in Tennessee for Easter and loving it. But I got a message today that Anne took a nasty fall at work and will have surgery tomorrow for an ankle broken in three places. Geez! I sure wish I could be with her, but my love will definitely follow her into the operating room.

We spent many hours riding up and down the boulevard in our hometown. It’s where all of the kids hung out back in the day. I’ll be home soon and take my buddy riding around the countryside while she mends. I’m sure she’ll be glad to get out of the house, and I’ll be happy to share yet another moment with my very first friend in my new town.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at