Tuesday, June 8, 2010


A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.

-Douglas Pagels-(All the graphics in this post are from Karen at THE GRAPHICS FAIRY)

The little girl sat with her bony knees pressed to the wall under the window sill, her body forming a loose backwards Z. Her feet were tucked back under the chair with the tops of her toes resting on the chair rung as she bent forward at the waist with her chin resting on the back of her hands.

She could feel the cool of the glass where she pressed her forehead. With every cough from her feverish rosy cheeks came a puff of breath that left a fog pattern on the window pane. She lifted a lazy pinkie finger to trace tiny circle patterns in the mist. She could see them but not join them, the children playing beyond the glass in the cul-de-sac in front of her home.
A movement from the house that sat two doors down across the street caught her eye. She saw him, her best friend, bound down the steps of his home. He quickly scanned the crowd of children, not seeing her, he started towards her home with his bare feet slapping the pavement in a happy patter. It wasn't until he reached the edge of her lawn that he saw her face in the window and he knew. He took a few tentative steps closer as their eyes locked through the glass, his almond shaped chocolate ones meeting her large moody sometimes blue, sometimes green ones.

He struck a pose as if thinking, scratching his head and tapping his chin with his forefinger, all the while his toes were making a thrumming motion in the clover underfoot. A wide grin spread across his face as he lifted one olive toned hand making an exaggerated open palm slap to his forehead while shouting, "Not Again!", tumbling himself over into a somersault in the process, scattering honey bees in his wake. His antics had their desired effect, she smiled. He stood for a moment longer and pulled a silly face at her, she giggled and returned the favor. He then made an exaggerated tiptoe towards her disappearing from her view only to pop back up into her line of vision with a series of jumps that reminded her of a jack-in-the-box.She saw his fingers grip the brick window sill as he toed himself up to press his nose against the window screen in the exact same place her nose was pressed against the glass. They looked cross eyed at one another and laughed. His grip loosened as he pointed to the hole in the wire screen and said loud enough to be heard through the single paned glass, "Secret code". She nodded in understanding.

Making sure her mother was not in the kitchen doorway behind her, she slipped from her chair quietly sliding open the big drawer under the old black rotary wall phone where the fat yellow phone book was kept. She removed a yellow pencil stub and tore off a piece of scratch paper from the notepad. Sneaking back to her seat she labored over her coded message, a code they had invented together. With one last look to make sure she was not observed, she stood on the chair unlatching the window, pulling it up just enough to reveal the hole in the screen.

She hastily rolled her message around the pencil stub and shoved both through the hole into the waiting wiggling fingers of her friend. Afraid of being caught, she slid the window closed but slipped on the chair in the process making a loud bumping noise. "Sandra Renae' what in heaven's name are you doing now?" called her mother's voice from down the hall. "Nothing momma!" she replied in an overly innocent tone.

The pecking of the pencil on the window pane returned her focus to her friend. She retrieved the message and fell into a fit of giggles as her friend pantomimed for her to eat it if her mother came in and caught them. She unrolled the paper and read the message that was printed in his very best printing, "I am sorry you are sick again. I wish it was not again."
The other children called to him wanting him to come and play dodge ball but he vigorously shook his head "no". He stayed all morning entertaining her until his mother called him in for lunch. He reluctantly left with his little fists tucked into his shorts pockets. Dipping his head and looking back over his shoulder at her, he paused at the edge of the lawn and mouthed, "Not again." He never wanted her to be sick again.

This was not the first time or the last time over their years of friendship that he cheered her while she was sick and all these many years later he still does when she thinks back upon that warm summer day when he took the sting out of being sick with the soothing balm of friendship. I have no idea if he even remembers this incident from our childhood but I do know that I will never forget it.

This memory came to me when I woke up sick on Friday morning last week. My very first thought was, "Oh no! Not again!" Funny, how a little thing like a phrase can trigger such a vivid memory that has been tucked away for such a very long time. We were about six back then, inseparable best friends. I am afraid it will take more than a cheerful friend to get me over this bout. I have had a relapse of the nasty virus/flu thing that I had recently had for three weeks. I am returning to the doctor this morning. I'll post as I am able, which might be spotty at best, due to the fact that I seem to run out of steam quickly and am in need of much rest. In the meantime, I am wishing you cheerful summer-like days filled with praise!

I'd love to hear your favorite memory of a time when a friend cheered you up!

Miss Sandy


Becky K. said...

What a charming story.

So sorry for the return of the illness that brought it back to mind.

Becky K.

Vee said...

You still got it. The gift of writing and the flu? Oh dear. Glad that you're heading to the doc's. (I've read of a number of bloggers who've got some mysterious, long-lasting bug.) Take care, we'll catch you when you're able. Not to worry!

Pat @ My Tattered Elegance said...

Sorry you are sick, hope the trip to the doctor will fix it. Your beautiful story helped to fix me. Made me think of memories of my own which in turn made me feel better. I hope you are feeling better real soon.
I love your gift of writing. You do it so well.
Hugs, Pat

Lululiz said...

Oh dear, thats a real blow, having that nasty virus/bug come back again. I hope you get over it real quick this time.

kathy said...

A lovely sweet diversion -- your writing always delights my heart --Get well soon -- Blessings from above be yours this day - Kathy - ga ♥

Anonymous said...

Sandy, what can I do but echo your word, "Oh no, not again!" And at the very best time of year! Not the middle of winter when being stuck in bed wouldn't be so bad.

I think you need more than hugs and chicken soup. :-( But here are some (((((HUGS))))) anyway!

Love, Diane

Robin said...

I hope you feel better soon and that you have a speedy recovery from your illness.

Myrnie said...

Oh dear. This story is adorable, and I am so sorry you are sick again! We we were young we had a old copy of a book about Big Bird getting sick- he kept seeing his friends sick in bed, with soup and tea and games. He thought it looked like so much fun, until HE got sick. His friends brought him their soup and tea and games, and all he could say was "Being sick is no fun!" My twin sister and I always read that to each other when we were home sick from school.

Let's see....a few weeks ago, I was having a really rough day. I melted the honey bear, I was nasty to the kids, my self-esteem was shot. Unexpectedly, my 15-year-old sister-in-law sent me a sweet little e-mail about what a great mother I was, what great kids I have, and how lucky they are to have me. The sentiment was so kind, the message so unexpected, and the messenger so out of the ordinary...it still brings a tear to my eye.

LiLi M. said...

I do hope you will be (definitely) on the mend soon Sandy. Life is busy enough as it is. I'm so busy right now, but I wanted to come over to see how you are doing. Though I loved your story,I don't have the time to write down any memories right now, but I will do that when it's a bit more relaxed over here, probably somewhere August hahaha. Thinking of you!

marilyn said...

You have sent this memory out on your wings of thought and I feel sure your friend is thinking of you, too. Such a nice story of friendship.

tuckaway hearts said...

Hi Sandy,

This is a 'virtual' tuckaway that says: " Feel better soon."

Love and good thoughts to you,

Julie Ann said...

Oh, Sandy!! I'm so sorry to hear that you're under the weather again! Sometimes those viruses are sure hard to get rid of! You take care and I hope you're feeling better soon- for good this time!!

PS- What a sweet, sweet story about you and your friend. You should write a book! You have such an incredible way with words...

Vickie said...

Oh Miss Sandy - I'm sorry to hear that your bug has visited again! This was such a sweet story, and true! You just take care of yourself, eat well, rest, and soak up some sunshine. Be good to yourself and we'll see you when you get back! Hugs - Vickie

Gwendolyn said...

So good to stop by Quill Cottage once again. It has been a while since I've entered here, but glad that I did. You may not be feeling well, dear Sandy, but you still allow words of healing and comfort to flow through your fingers and onto the blog paper. You are passing on beauty in the midst of your pain. Blessings to you today and I pray you are feeling much improved every day!

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