This I Believe

Kathy - Oak Park, California
Entered on October 24, 2006

Friendship Lasts

“Remember to come back and visit!” were the last words I heard from Jiang Si Tong before I flew back to America nine years ago. I had gone to Kindergarten in China when I was five years old. The first day of kindergarten started and I met Jiang Si Tong for the first time. I knew right away that I really liked her. Soon after, we became really good friends.

We used to always play together for a while after school ended. We’d make up games and fool around until our grandparents told us that it was getting late and that we should start heading home. We made little figures out of mud and picked flowers in the garden. She also told me a lot of interesting stuff, like the number of spots on a ladybug shows if that was a good ladybug or a bad one. She’d also occasionally come over to my grandparents’ house to see if I wanted to go to the park. At the park near our houses, we’d run around and chase after butterflies. I would always have a great time playing with her. Other times, I’d go to her house to visit. She’d show me all the Chinese calligraphy that she had written. Life was really enjoyable at that time.

After the year was over, I had to return to the United States to start school. We were all really sad that I had to leave. Before leaving, she said to make sure to remember her and to come visit her again in the future.

In America, school started and I put all my thoughts into my studies. During the summer vacations, I would go to summer school to enhance my learning. Pretty soon, four years had already passed. Then before summer break started, my dad suddenly asked me if I wanted to go back to China. Soon I was flying there again.

At that time, I had forgotten a lot about China. One of the few things I remembered was my friendship with Jiang Si Tong. When I asked my grandparents if I could go visit her, they told me that she had already moved to a new home. When I asked if they knew where, the reply was no.

What could I do then? Was our friendship just going to end this way? I regretted not having visited China earlier. I was sad that she didn’t even leave a phone number. I tried to think of ways to find her, but came up with nothing. I never saw her again.

I was afraid at that time that I might forget her. Now after all these years, I find that you can never really forget someone you had cared for. There are some details about her that I don’t quite remember anymore, but I still remember her. I believe that friendship can last forever. I believe that even if someone isn’t there anymore, the memories still remain.