Friendships Found

Natalie - West Jordan, Utah
Entered on December 9, 2010
Age Group: Under 18
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It takes all kinds of people to make up the world. Just like it takes all kinds of people to build a friendship but there is one friend in my life that has made an immense difference. She is extremely sweet and kind. She is always happy, she always can make me laugh, and she is the best bowler I know. Her name is Carly. She is about twenty one and she has special needs. She has no speaking skills so she must use sign language. Unfortunately because of her disability she has always had a hard time expressing herself.

I met her during the summer, at the bowling alley. I was enviously watching her bowl; I had never had the skill of bowling. She finished her frame and walked up to me waving. I saw her dad behind her. Her dad was a friend of my dad so I knew him already. I smiled at her friendliness and waved back suddenly glad that my lane was by hers. After a few times of my sad attempts at bowling I looked over and saw her watching me. She signed to her dad. “She wants to know if she can show you,” he said. She must have known I didn’t understand sign language because she didn’t try to tell me anything. She took her ball and started a few feet from her lanes foul line. Pointing was her only was for me to understand her. She indicated me watching her feet. Pointing to which foot I should lead with. Then showing me how to hold my bowling ball correctly, and much more comfortably, she executed a perfect strike. Assuming I should then go I did and I also got a strike. Our friendship was slow going. The language barrier was unbearable for me. I wanted to see things the way she saw them.

Wanting to understand her better I would ask her; “How do you sign this Carly?” as we walked through a store or through her house. Soon the barrier no longer existed though neither of us felt we had to know exactly what the other was saying. All the same she became one of my best friends, and together we have so many inside jokes, and we’ve done so many things together the words don’t matter. I know what she would say to me, if she could. She knows what I would say back to her. I don’t get to see her anymore now that summer is over, and I do miss her. But I still have all the wonderful things she taught me.

I believe friendship can happen to anyone at anytime. It isn’t defined by who a person is or how the world may define them, but it simply comes. And when it does we can either shy away from the opportunity like I used to, or be glad that they have been able to expand and see something in a new, wonderful way like I was able to with Carly.