I live at my best friend’s house; not literally, but if you didn’t know better you would think I was part of their family. I believe that the relationship between family and friend is inseparable.
Everyday I find myself at their house talking to the oldest child in the family, Jimmy. Jimmy sits in his wheel chair all day, blowing through a tube to move and often looking around trying to find someone to help him. Muscular dystrophy left Jimmy this way when he was nine.
Ciggy, as I like to call him, can not take care of himself, and that’s where the love of his family comes in to play. They never complain, never make excuses, and often find joy in going out of their way to help him.
I had been “living” at their house for a year, and every time I would ask Jimmy if he needed help he would say, “no”, often turning to his mother asking if she could help him with something. It wasn’t until this summer that he allowed me to feed him, to get him a drink, to change the channel on the T.V. or look something up on the internet. This is when I felt that I had become part of the family.
I had driven the younger boys to their sport practices, gone to Champs to pick up the older girls at work, even done the grocery shopping for the family, but now that Jimmy had accepted me, I belonged.
I belonged to a family that put others before themselves, and that is what I believe makes my bond with them so much stronger. I feel that I need to give the family something for all they have given Jimmy, because he can not physically give back to them. I’m not going to lie, there are times when I don’t want to do anything, but I just think of Jimmy; how he would give anything just to be able to do something for someone else.
My best friend, Jimmy’s brother, took notice of this new relationship I had developed with Jimmy and I truly believe that we have grown closer because of it. He often says that he makes sacrifices to be with Jimmy because he doesn’t know how much longer Jimmy is going to be alive. I respect those sacrifices and often find myself trying to do the same to be with my “new brother.”
I tell myself everyday that I would go to the end of the earth for that family and because of this I truly feel that these friends are also my family.
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