Friends Become Brothers when Brothers Are Not Friends

by Archie Wortham    –show me more like this

I’d like to share this great story my brother sent me.

“One day, as a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought, ‘Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd.’ I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.

“As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids run toward Kyle. They knocked all his books out of his arms and tripped him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying onto the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over. As he crawled around looking for his glasses, I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, ‘Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives.’ He looked at me and said, ‘Hey thanks!’ There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived.

“As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked why I had never seen him before. He said he’d gone to private schools. We talked all the way home as I carried his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play football on Saturday with my friends and me. He said yes. We hung all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him. Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. He just laughed and handed me half the books.

“Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown. I’d decided on Duke. I knew we’d always be friends and miles would never be a problem.

“I’d always teased Kyle about being a nerd and when graduation day came, Kyle was valedictorian of our class. He’d really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Sometimes I was jealous. Graduation day was one of those days. But when I saw he was nervous about his speech, I smacked him on the back and said, ‘Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!’ He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. ‘Thanks,’ he said.

“As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began. ‘Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years–your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach… but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story.’

“I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He’d planned to kill himself over the weekend. He mentioned how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn’t have to do it later. ‘My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable,’ he said as I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and Dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize its depth.”

You must never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture, you can change a person’s life. Now,you might pass this story on to your friends, as I have, or trash it. “Friends,” the note my brother went on to say “are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.” Be an angel. Remember, as Eleanor Roosevelt wrote, “Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.” Send this to a friend. I did.