A True Friend
This is an experience of a disabled girl in the United States. This story perfectly highlights how true friendship can go a long way in giving a person emotional stability, comfort and a sense of belonging.
For as long as I can remember, I have had a friend through a friend of my mother's. My mom and her mom met through a downhill skiing group for people with disabilities. I am disabled, and her mother is disabled.
We lived about 45 minutes away from each other so we didn't really grow up together, but we spent as much time together as possible. I am a year older than her, but it never felt like it. Often we spent the night at each other's houses and, of course, we went on ski trips together with our mothers. We even went to summer camps together. This was often a challenge, being that she was able-bodied and I was not.
I had gone to YMCA and Girl Scout camps with her for able- bodied kids. A lot of times there were activities I just couldn't keep up with, or sometimes wasn't able to participate at all. A couple of summers, I also tried attending summer camps for kids with disabilities. These, too, were a bust. While I had a disability, it was pretty mild compared to most of the kids at these types of camps and I was left terribly bored, with not nearly enough physical activity for me. I needed to find something in between the two. I wanted to settle in a happy medium.
One year, this friend of mine and I signed up to go to Girl Scout camp together, again. I don't know who decided this, but someone decided to put me with the younger kids (9 and 10 yr. olds, where I was 13), thinking it would give me more opportunities to keep up and participate. My friend stayed with me with the young ones. We were both miserable, due to the fact we were the only girls in our group that passed the highest levels of tests for things, and there weren't enough counsellors to take us to do the activities we qualified for. There was even a big sister program, and we were older than our big sisters!
I will never forget what this friend did for me by sticking with me through the whole 2 weeks. She never bailed! And, not only did she stick with me, she did everything she could to try and make it more fun, for both of us. She didn't let me get down about the situation.
My friend is now working on her Master's and needed a good friend to write a short paper on her integrity. She asked me, and this is the story I told in that paper. When she read it, she had no idea how much her efforts had meant to me then, or how much they still mean in my life. To me, that is what a true friend is.