A single point of view can only hold so much information. In seventh grade my best friend was Andy. I only had one class with him, gym. I would go up to Andy everyday and say hi. My class mates would ask me why I talked to him. You see Andy was in a wheel chair, he couldn’t really form words or somedays he wasn’t even aware I was there. They thought he was scary and different. They couldn’t have understood what Andy meant to me.
It was back in about the forth grade when Andy and his family moved in down the street. When I met Andy he was a strange kid from tennessee. We would ride bikes, get lost in the gully across the street for hours. He was just like me. He would tell me about how much he loved his grandma, he would complain when his mom told him to clean his room, and he loved roller blading. The only thing about Andy that made him any different was the fact that he had to get a blood transfusion once a month so he could receive the platelets his body needed. One of these transfusion he received, when we were in sixth grade, contained an infection his body had a heard time fighting off. This infection made his own body attack his brain. It didn’t really seem to affect him at first, but as the months went buy I began to notice changes in him. He became irritable easier, and he wasn’t as fast as he once was on his bike. We would walk to the bus everyday, and I noticed he wasn’t as steady on his feet. One day we were getting on the bus when Andy fell… He was bleeding and his mom had come and take him home. Andy was gone for awhile after that. I would visit him at his house, each day he lost his ability to communicate a little more, one day he lost his ability to walk… This was the Andy that my classmates knew, but I knew the real him. He was still there I could see it in his eyes, and in his smile. Our friendship grew stronger as his body grew weaker. There came a time when andy couldn’t come to school anymore. A few months had gone by, I was away at summer camp when I got this sick feeling and knew I needed to go home. My leaders took me home and I was met at the door by my mom. She said Andy has slipped into a coma and it’s time to say goodbye. We went over and I sat next to him, I told him that I would miss him… He was my best friend. I told him he would be able to run again, and ride bike. My heart was full as I said it was okay for him to go… I would miss him, and goodbye. I stood and walked out of the room knowing that was the last time I would see him. Andy slipped away that night in a house full of those who loved him most.
You will never really know the full measure of a stranger.