It was a long time ago; when lime green and gold where the "hot" decorating colors of the day. The PYB had just moved...again. She had already been to 3 different elementary schools and there she was in yet another new place that she had to get used to. This time it was in Grand Prairie, TX. One would think a kid would get used to having to adjust to a new school, but for a shy third grader it just wasn't so.
The morning after the movers left the doorbell rang and the PYB and her Petite Soeur beat their Mama to the door and flung it wide open. There, on the small concrete porch, stood two boys. Boys! They were standing there with muffins or danish of some sort saying hello, welcome to the neighborhood and they lived next door. Boys. For crying out loud. Why couldn't they be girls?? That move couldn't have become any worse in the PYB's opinion.
We learned the boys were Spencer, a 6th grader, and Kirk, a third grader like the PYB. At some point during the next few days the PYB's parents became acquainted with the boys' parents and little did they know at the time it was to be a lifelong friendship. She remembers thinking that the boys' mom, Nadine, was so beautiful, so kind and made really good breakfast food. It was decided between Mama and Nadine that Kirk, since he was her same age, would accompany the PYB to the bus on Monday and sit with her to and from school for the first week. She thought they had lost their minds! Sit with a BOY on the bus? No way. Surely he wouldn't agree to that either. Never.Gonna.Happen.
On Monday The PYB and Kirk were sitting on the bus not saying a word to each other. Spencer, on the other hand, was taunting them making the situation even less desirable.
It went on that way for a week and the next week and the week after that and so on, but by the second week they were talking and even going to each other's house to play. They spent hours and hours together. If her memory serves her correctly Kirk taught her to roller skate (metal skates hooked to one's shoes). He also taught her how to shuffle cards; she can see him in her mind's eye sitting on the floor of his parent's living room one leg tucked up under him and the other bent so his chin would rest on his knee, rocking back and forth while they played card games. They'd build villages out of cards all down the hallway of his house. They'd watch Shirley Temple movies on Sunday afternoons and Little Rascals after school. They laughed a lot. On the weekends they'd spend time with her sister, his brother and the PYB's crazy cousin, Jami, while all their parents played poker, drank and smoked. She loved living there and she loved her best friend, Kirk.
After about a year she had to move again. And they lost touch. She's only seen him on several occasions since. He got married and still lives near his folks. Her parents stayed in touch with his parents through the years and all the moves and eventually the PYB's parents wound up back in Grand Prairie so she'd hear snippets of info about her childhood friend and how he was fairing.
The PYB has now learned from her father that Kirk's dad has been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer which makes her heart so heavy. The PYB's mom had lung cancer and died as a result of a complication of surgery and radiation. She wants to reach out and give Kirk a virtual hug...she's hoping to connect with him soon. He probably doesn't know what his friendship meant to the PYB all those years ago and she wants to waste no more time in telling him.
Here's to the first best friends in our lives - cheers!