This I Believe

Mark - Norfolk, Virginia
Entered on November 17, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Friends and Family

I believe that sometimes friends are more important than family. Two years ago, I was able to see the true benefits of friends. It was a cold, winter evening. I remember it like it was yesterday. Football was over, and I was spending my Sunday evening trying to study for a Calculus test I had the next day. The phone rang, and little did I know that that phone call would impact me greatly for the rest of my life.

I had grown up as a quiet person. I didn’t have any real friends through my childhood. Once I reached high school, I started to talk more to people, finding out that I had a lot in common with them. Like most people, I had a core group of friends who I could trust on for anything. One of these friends stood out from the rest, his name was Bobby. Bobby and I had been great friends from the first week of high school when we met because our lockers were right next to each other. We went together like steak and potatoes. Bobby was my best friend.

My mom walked into the room. The look in her eyes was almost heart breaking. She sat down next to me on my bed and proceeded to tell me how Bobby had died that night. He was driving home from his girlfriend’s house and ran into a patch of black ice while going around a sharp corner. He lost control of his car and ran into a tree. The airbags in his car didn’t go off and he wasn’t wearing his seatbelt. The impact alone caused him to fly forward through the glass and he died right there.

The pain seared through my body. I was inconsolable. My parents could not stop me from crying for an entire week. The funeral, burial, and everything else that week seemed to fly by me like a blur. It was as if I was trying to put my life into fast forward and get away from this time. The only thing that helped me was the presence of my friends. They were at my side through thick and thin and were able to console me in ways that my family would never have been able to do.

I realized a couple of weeks after Bobby’s death how great of a friend he was, and how great my other friends are as well. If it was not for their presence in my life, I would probably be secluded from the world right now. They were able to pick me up when I was down and show me that life does move on. If I ever have any problems, I know that my friends are always an option to make me feel better. I will never forget Bobby, and can only hope that my friends will always be there for me.