When I was in eighth grade, I had the honor of being chosen as part of the West Central Team. I knew it was going to be the experience of a lifetime. I knew it was going to change my life and my view of the world.
What I didn’t fully expect was how attached I would grow to you. I knew I would be very fond of my buddy, but you were quite something else. You taught me more in that one year than I ever could have anticipated. Your smile brightened my day more than anyone else’s ever could.
It never mattered that you couldn’t talk–you communicated in a way all your own. I loved spending those days at the school just sitting with you, helping with your therapy. The day I remember most of all, though, was your class trip to the pumpkin patch. You rode on my lap during the hayride. You gave me the most brilliant smile that day. It was a bittersweet afternoon, because that was the same day I learned you’d be switching classes. I was heartbroken when I thought we’d be separated. But I got to switch with you in the end.
You probably don’t know how much you meant to me–and still mean to me. You taught me how to be happy with the very simplest things in life–singing silly songs and rollar skating in a rink. Laughs shared on a playground. Playing with blocks and taking a hayride though a pumpkin patch. A smile. Even if you don’t remember me, know that I remember you and still think about you. I know I always will.