I am in my late 50's now and all the racial discord going on in our world these days makes me so sad. I was born in the south and we moved to a small farm when I was probably about four. Our only neighbors were a wonderful and loving black family. Their daughter, Linda, was a little more than a year younger than me and we quickly became best friends, as well as our parents. Linda and I were together constantly. If not at my home,then hers. Our moms spent many days in each other's kitchens drinking coffee as Linda and I played at their feet.
Since I was older, I started school a year ahead of Linda. Riding on the school bus with older kids, I was exposed to the N word, a word I had never heard uttered within my home. I didn't understand this word but I did understand it was directed at the other black kids in anger. A few days later Linda and her mom were at our house. Linda and I were not perfect, we had our little childhood spats as most kids. That day during an argument, I said, "Go home, you little nigger." My mother and Linda's mother sat us down. My mom asked me, "Is Linda your friend? I replied, "yes." She then asked me why would I call my friend that word and asked where I had heard it. I replied, "On the bus." Both my mom and also Linda's mom explained to both of us that that was a very bad word and that obviously those kids parents did not teach that to their children. I felt so horrible that I had called my best friend such a bad word and we hugged as I said I was sorry. Linda's mom picked me up and also gave me a hug as my mom picked Linda up and gave her a hug. They then told us to go play as sisters.
We had a strong and loving bond and continued being best friends. Sadly, we moved across the state four years later. Leaving my best friend, Linda, was heartbreaking. I felt as if I was leaving a sister behind. We would go back to that area a few times as the years passed and we always made it a point to go visit these wonderful friends. Sadly,Linda developed a brain tumor in her teens and passed away before she was nineteen. I didn't get to go and say good bye but her mom said at the end, she would call my name out as if she was reliving those childhood days in her pain and discomfort. Linda's birthday was May 5th and to this day, I always remember to say Happy Birthday to my very first best friend, whom I know is in Heaven.
This racial hate in our world is costing all so much. If everyone could just get past the color issue and really strive to know someone, they may quiet possibly find the best friend they could ever have. I love you Linda, my first best friend, and will be with you some day so we can relive our childhood memories together.
Submitted by Anonymous
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