I believe in true friendships. I met my true best friend five years ago. At the time, she was a new band teacher starting her first job. I was first introduced to her as Miss Carl, but later she became Teri Lee. As her student, she inspired me to always be my best because she told me I could do anything I wanted if I put enough effort into it. Because they are inspiring and supportive, true friendships like the one I shared with Teri Lee are the friendships that will last forever.
I began taking private lessons on trumpet from her the next year. We often stayed hours after school because we were deep in conversation or because we were playing pep band songs. Not only did she teach me, but she allowed me to help her with the sixth grade band. She often encouraged me to help a brass ensemble by myself. It was during this time that she helped me realize I had a passion for teaching and music. And every day after the sixth graders left, faithful Teri Lee would be waiting for me to walk to the cafeteria with her.
My freshman year, I enrolled at a new high school with more opportunity for advancement in music. Teri Lee had strongly encouraged the switch, as I had decided to major in music education after graduation. That summer, I went to Toledo to help Teri Lee and her roommate move into a new apartment. That was when I met Jeri, Teri Lee’s fiancé. I was quite shocked to learn that Teri Lee’s fiancé was also a woman. I came to find out that Teri Lee kept her personal life to herself and a very select group of people; I was grateful to be included in it since I was no longer her student.
Through two summer vacations and one Christmas break, I helped Jeri and Teri Lee move not only once but twice, and consequently I became even closer with both of them. Though I only saw them during my school vacations, nothing would change between our friendship in our time away from each other. I can’t count the nights I called her with any assortment of problems I had through the day or the times I received a disgruntled email from Teri Lee about her day. She was my confidant, and whenever something bothered me, she was the first one I called. I knew I could always count on her witty comments to make me laugh and help me forget about whatever I was upset about.
Recently, Jeri called me to inform me that Teri Lee was killed in a car accident. Though she is no longer physically on earth, she is in my heart. She has taught me, inspired me, encouraged me, supported me, and therefore she will live forever through me and my actions. Although there were always professional boundaries and miles separating us, nothing kept her from being my true best friend.
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