One day, when I was 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 his books. I thought to myself, “Why would anyone bring his entire books home on a Friday? He must be a right nerd”
I had quite a weekend planned, parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon, so I shrugged my shoulders and went on. As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running towards Kyle and knocked all his books out of his hands and tripping him so he would fall in the dirt. His glasses went flying and I saw them land in the grass about 10 feet in front of him.
He looked up and I saw terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him. So I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, I saw a tear in his eyes.
As I handed him his glasses, I said, “Those guys are jerks and should really get a life”.
He looked at me and said, “Thanks”. There was a huge smile on his face, it was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him with his books and asked him where he lived. As it turned out he lived near me, I asked him why I had not seen him before. He said that he went to a private school before. We talked all the way home and I carried some of his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool guy. I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends. He said he would like to. We hung out all weekend, and the more I got to know Kyle the more I liked him. My friends thought the same also. Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with a huge pile of books again. I stopped him and said “Hey, you are going to build some serious muscles with that pile of books every day! “
He just laughed and handed me some of his books. Over the next four years me and Kyle became best friends.
When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends and the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship.
Kyle was a vale dictorian of our class. I teased him about it all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak.
Graduation day arrived and I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys who really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I did and the girls loved him. Sometimes I was so jealous of him. Today was one of those days.
I could see he was nervous about his speech, so I smacked him on his back and said “hey big guy, you’ll be great”.
He looked at me with one of those smiles. (the grateful one)
"Thanks" he replied.
As he started his speech, he cleared his throat and began.
“Graduation is the time to thank those who helped make it through the tough years. Your parents, teacher, siblings or maybe even your coach… but mostly your friends. I am here to tell you all 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 in disbelief as he told the story of the day we met. He had planned to kill himself over that weekend. He talked of how he cleared out his locker so his mother wouldn’t have to do it and carry the stuff home. He looked at me hard and gave me a smile. “Thankfully I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable”.
I heard a gasp go through the crowd as this handsome popular boy told us about his weakest moment. I saw his parents looking at me with a grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realise its depth. Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person’s life. For the better or for the worse.
Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have difficulty remembering how to fly.
There is no beginning or end...
Yesterday is history...
Today is a gift...
Tomorrow is a mystery...