Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It is not something you learn in school. But if you have not learned the meaning of friendship, you really have not learned anything.

– Muhammad Ali Submitted to me by Lucy Bittar

I once had a friend whose name I never knew. I was attending a new school, and because I was super quiet and shy, I did not make any friends.

One as I walked home from school, one of the girls walked beside me. I was too shy to introduce myself or ask her name. She must have also been shy because she said nothing to me. We walked together for several blocks, each holding our purse and an armload of books, trying to think of something to say.

Eventually, she turned toward her home, and I kept on to mine. That became our daily routine. At some point, she started walking to school with me, and again we separated at the school to go to our classes. It was strange because we sometimes shared lunch tables but still said nothing.

It was an unusual year. Except for our silent friendship, I did not make any other friends. I never learned her name. I have often thought of her. I have wondered how her life turned out.

I feel mine has been blessed and turned out well. I hope hers did as also. For a short while each day, it was a little less lonely to live in a new city. I later met another girl two years older than me and already out o school. That is another for another time.

Years later, I made a friend with someone who reminded me of myself that school year. She was a new employee, and I saw myself all those years, alone and scared, so I asked if she would like to join me for lunch.

We became more than friends. It turned out she was a newlywed, and she and her husband had moved here for his new job. She introduced me to her parents as her Sacramento mom. They were lovely people and thanked me for looking out for their daughter. That was twenty-two years ago, and we are still friends today. We celebrate each other’s birthday every year.

If you observe someone who appears too shy to meet or introduce themselves, go up to them and start a conversation. You may be the individual who changes their life for the better and become a lifelong friend.

Until next time, stay safe, keep the faith, and have a great day.

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