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Vintage Dilbert March 25, 2016

Vintage Dilbert
March 25, 2016

Jeremy was born with a twisted body, a slow mind and a chronic, terminal illness that had been slowly killing him all his young life. Still, his parents had tried to give him as normal a life as possible and had sent him to St. Theresa’s Elementary School.

At the age of 12, Jeremy was only in second grade, seemingly unable to learn. His teacher, Doris Miller, often became exasperated with him. He would squirm in his seat, drool and make grunting noises. At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a spot of light had penetrated the darkness of his brain. Most of the time, however, Jeremy irritated his teacher. One day, she called his parents and asked them to come to St. Teresa’s for a consultation.

As the Forresters sat quietly in the empty classroom, Doris said to them, “Jeremy really belongs in a special school. It isn’t fair to him to be with younger children who don’t have learning problems. Why, there is a five-year gap between his age and that of the other students!”

Mrs. Forrester cried softly into a tissue while her husband spoke. “Miss Miller,” he said, “there is no school of that kind nearby. It would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to take him out of this school. We know he really likes it here.”

Doris sat for a long time after they left, staring at the snow outside the window. Its coldness seemed to seep into her soul. She wanted to sympathize with the Forresters. After all, their only child had a terminal illness. But it wasn’t fair to keep him in her class. She had 18 other youngsters to teach and Jeremy was a distraction. Furthermore, he would never learn to read or write. Why waste any more time trying?

As she pondered the situation, guilt washed over her. “Oh God,” she said aloud, “here I am complaining when my problems are nothing compared with that poor family! Please help me to be more patient with Jeremy.”

From that day on, she tried hard to ignore Jeremy’s noises and his blank stares. Then one day he limped to her desk, dragging his bad leg behind him. “I love you, Miss Miller,” he exclaimed, loudly enough for the whole class to hear. The other children snickered, and Doris’ face turned red. She stammered, “Wh-Why, that’s very nice, Jeremy. Now please take your seat.”

Spring came, and the children talked excitedly about the coming of Easter. Doris told them the story of Jesus, and then to emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each of the children a large plastic egg. “Now,” she said to them, “I want you to take this home and bring it back tomorrow with something inside that shows new life. Do you understand?”

Yes, Miss Miller!” the children responded enthusiastically – all except for Jeremy. He just listened intently, his eyes never left her face. He did not even make his usual noises. Had he understood what she had said about Jesus’ death and resurrection? Did he understand the assignment? Perhaps she should call his parents and explain the project to them. That evening, Doris’ kitchen sink stopped up. She called the landlord and waited an hour for him to come by and unclog it. After that, she still had to shop for groceries, iron a blouse and prepare a vocabulary test for the next day. She completely forgot about phoning Jeremy’s parents.

The next morning, 19 children came to school, laughing and talking as they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket on Miss Miller’s desk. After they completed their Math lesson, it was time to open the eggs. In the first egg, Doris found a flower. “Oh yes, a flower is certainly a sign of new life,” she said. “When plants peek through the ground we know that spring is here.” A small girl in the first row waved her arms. “That’s my egg, Miss Miller,” she called out.

The next egg contained a plastic butterfly, which looked very real. Doris held it up. “We all know that a caterpillar changes and grows into a beautiful butterfly. Yes, that is new life, too” Little Judy smiled proudly and said, “Miss Miller, that one is mine.”

Next Doris found a rock with moss on it. She explained that the moss, too, showed life. Billy spoke up from the back of the classroom. “My Daddy helped me!” he beamed.

Then Doris opened the fourth egg. She gasped. The egg was empty! Surely it must be Jeremy’s, she thought, and, of course, he did not understand her instructions. If only she had not forgotten to phone his parents. Because she did not want to embarrass him, she quietly set the egg aside and reached for another.

Suddenly Jeremy spoke up. “Miss Miller, aren’t you going to talk about my egg?” Flustered, Doris replied, “but Jeremy – your egg is empty!” He looked into her eyes and said softly, “Yes, but Jesus’ tomb was empty too!”

Time stopped. When she could speak again. Doris asked him, ” Do you know why the tomb was empty?”

“Oh yes!” Jeremy exclaimed. “Jesus was killed and put in there. Then his Father raised him up!”

The recess bell rang. While the children excitedly ran out to the school yard, Doris cried. The cold inside her melted completely away.

Three months later Jeremy died. Those who paid their respects at the mortuary were surprised to see 19 eggs on top of his casket, all of them empty.

Author - Ida Mae Kemp
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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
October 16, 2015

Man: God, can I ask You a question?

God: Sure

Man: Promise You won’t get mad …

God: I promise

Man: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?

God: What do u mean?

Man: Well, I woke up late

God: Yes

Man: My car took forever to start

God: Okay

Man: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait

God: Hmm

Man: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call

God: All right

Man: And on top of it all, when I got home I just wanted to soak my
feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn’t work!!! Nothing
went right today! Why did You do that?

God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had
to send one of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep
through that .

Man (humbled): OH

GOD: I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on
your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.

Man: (ashamed)

God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn’t
want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn’t afford to miss
work.

Man (embarrassed): Okay

God: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was
going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn’t
even let you talk to them so you would be covered.

Man (softly): I see God

God: Oh and that foot mas-sager, it had a shortage that was going to
throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn’t think you
wanted to be in the dark.

Man: I’m Sorry God

God: Don’t be sorry,  just learn to Trust Me…. in All things , the Good
& the bad.

Man: I will trust You.

God: And don’t doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.

Man: I won’t God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.

God: You’re welcome child. It was just another day being your God and
looking after My Children…

Author unknown - Please comment if you know the author
 so credit can be given
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
September 3, 2003

Christmas is officially over. Today I dragged the tree with its fifteen remaining needles out to the curb, tied the Christmas lights into one great big ball like I found them, and dumped the odd remains of two ham-a-ramas and a jalapeño cheese log into the cat’s dish, which caused him to immediately jump up onto the telephone stand and look up the address for the Humane Society’s self-admittance wing.

But it’s done. Kaput. Finé. The yuletide has ebbed. And not a moment too soon, because now it’s time for . . . Valentine’s Day. Not to worry though, because this year I’m ready.

Last February I was fooled by the pact my wife and I made that we weren’t going to bother with Valentine’s Day. What I thought she meant was that she didn’t expect a gift. What she really meant was that only a chump would think it was okay not to get his wife (who was put on this earth for no greater reason than to serve her husband’s every need, although said husband could count on serving certain needs himself until further notice) a gift.

And even though it was quite a bonding experience camping out in my backyard in February with my brother-in-law, who had wondered why everyone was buying flowers on Washington’s birthday, I think I’d rather spend the rainy season inside this year.

So I grabbed the garbage bag full of Christmas cards and wrapping paper to drop off at the local landfill and headed off to the Hallmark store, that magical place full of those beautiful poetic musings that women love.

I settled on a card with a romantic, soft-focus photograph of a young couple laughing and hugging in a wooded glen, taken no doubt just seconds before they realized they were standing waist deep in poison oak. Then I headed across the mall to the lingerie store.

The place was mobbed with guys all holding intimate apparel, trying to picture their wives in them. One guy was holding his selection upside down wondering, I suspect, why the thing had snaps at the neck.

I was about to explain when a saleslady approached wearing a button that said “All Our Bras Are Half Off.” She looked frazzled. Her hair was mussed. Her makeup was smeared, and she had bags under her eyes. “Let me guess,” she said. “Gift for the wife?” Before I could compliment her on such a quick assessment of the situation, she moved me to one side and yelled over my shoulder. “Please don’t mix the satin panties up with the silk ones.” Two guys, who were each holding a dozen pair of panties, smiled sheepishly, like they just got caught during a midnight raid at the female dorms.

“I hate Valentine’s Day,” she muttered. Then with a forced smile she asked, “So, what did you have in mind?” “I dunno. Something sexy, I guess.” “Novel idea. What’s her favorite color?” “Uhh . . . brown?” “Brown? Brown’s her favorite color?” “Green?” “You don’t know, do you?” “Well, our cat is gray and white and she likes him a lot.”

I thought briefly about the cat and wondered if he’d still be there when I got home. Meanwhile, the saleslady moved me to one side again. “Sir. Siiirrrr.” A large, bald man in a three-piece suit glanced up. “It’s Velcro,” she said. “As you have no doubt observed, it will make that same sound over and over.”

She shook her head, turned her attention back to me and was about to speak when a tall, thin guy approached us wearing a teddy over his T-shirt and boxer shorts. “Whaddya think?” he asked. I thought the red was a little too bright for his complexion and was about to say so when the saleslady jumped up onto a clearance counter and addressed the entire store.

“Okay. Here’s what we are going to do. I want every one of you to take out the amount of money you want to spend and step up to the counter. I will hand you an item that costs that amount of money. Do not worry about the color or size. Your wives will be in here to exchange your gifts tomorrow. Now, who’s first?” We all hesitated.

She held up her watch. “The mall closes in fifteen minutes, gentlemen, and they are predicting a particularly cold February this year.” I thought I caught a whiff of damp tent. Then I quickly took out my wallet and got in line.

Ernie Witham (c) 1996
From Chicken Soup for the Romantic Soul
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
August 17, 1998

Standing in the middle of the gymnasium, I faced the Special Olympics athletes, wall-to-wall bleachers filled with energy and excitement. The incessant chatter and constant movement was interrupted only occasionally when an athlete would break loose and dash across the room. Their enthusiasm could not be stifled – this was their special day.

I was an inexperienced high-school junior. When I signed up to volunteer as a team leader, I had no idea what it would entail. Standing there completely baffled, I surveyed the chaos, wondering how the Games could ever be organized.

As I waited anxiously for my team of girls to be called, a small mob of schoolgirls, wearing matching Special Olympics T-shirts, closed in on me. Each girl had a distinctive gait. Some moved as if they were going to attack me, while others had difficulty putting one foot in front of the other.

One young woman bounced clumsily toward me with such liveliness, gravity seemed to have no effect. Strands of brown hair swayed back and forth in front of her blue eyes with every step, and a huge smile warmed her full, freckled face.

I felt paralyzed as I realized she was headed directly toward me. She stood next to me, placed her arm on my shoulder, and said, “Hi, I’m Jane.”

“Hi, I’m Sandy.”

Then, moving even closer, she said, “Hi, Sandy. I’m Jane.”

Smiling, I asked, “How are you, Jane?”

“Fine,” she said, her gaze focused on my face.

Just then the whistle announced the first event – a basketball – dribbling relay. The girls lined up behind the starting line, ready to dribble the ball to the cone at the other end of the court, and back again.

At the sound of the bell, my first team member picked up the ball and put as much energy as she could into her task. Bounce . . . Catch . . . Step. Bounce . . . Catch . . . Step.
“Come on! You can do it!” I yelled. Bounce . . . Catch . . . Step . . . Smile. Crossing the finish line, she passed the ball to the next girl, who took off. “Go! Go!” I screamed.

Handling the basketball with confidence as she zigzagged down the court and back, she passed the ball to Jane.

“Watch, Sandy. I can do this.” As Jane attempted to dribble, her bouncing gait kept her from controlling the ball. With almost every step, Jane’s foot would kick the ball, sending it flying across the gymnasium.

“You can do it, Jane!” I yelled.

Her smile never faded as she happily retrieved the ball and resumed where she had left off. As if the ball had a mind of its own, it took two more trips across the gymnasium before Jane was back at my side.

“I did good, didn’t I, Sandy?” Jane asked proudly. “Yes, you did fine.”

Then, as if she needed reminding or felt I did, Jane once again placed her arm on my shoulder and declared, “Hi Sandy, I’m Jane.”

“Yes, you are Jane, a wonderful young lady.” I responded, with a reassuring smile. This game continued throughout the other events.

I admired Jane’s zeal and her extraordinary attitude. She faced each challenge optimistically. Nothing fazed her. Nothing could erase the beautiful smile from her face. Each setback seemed to fuel her exuberant joy.

At the end of the day, each athlete received a ribbon. No one on my team came in first – it wasn’t important. The only thing that mattered was a job well-done and contented hearts. These girls were no different than any Olympian in Barcelona or Sydney; they had given their all, and now they looked at their ribbons with as much pride as a gold medalist.

“See! I did good!” Jane announced as she proudly showed me her ribbons.

It was time to go. Jane stood by my side and propped her arm on my shoulder. “Bye, Sandy. I had fun. I did good, didn’t I?”

“You did your best. I am so proud of you,” I answered, looking into her distant eyes.

Digging a piece of folded paper and small pencil from the pocket of her shorts, Jane handed it to me. “Can I have your address, Sandy?” she asked graciously.

“Sure,” I said, jotting it down.

“I could write you and then you could write me, huh? That would be good.”

“Yes, I would like that.”

All but one of the girls walked out of my life. Jane and I continued to communicate through letters and phone calls. We talked about comic books and baby dolls – trivial things to me, but to her, prized possessions.

A year later, as the Special Olympics approached, Jane wrote, “Can you come watch me in the Special Olympics?”

That year, I went as an observer. I stood next to Jane’s mother during the floor-hockey competition. Occasionally I shouted, “Good, Jane, good!”

“I’m glad you came,” her mother said. “You mean so much to my daughter. She talks about you all the time. When she asked if she could invite you, I said yes, but I also told her I didn’t think you would come.”

Looking at her in disbelief, I thought, Why would you assume such a thing? I replied, “Jane and I have developed a close relationship this year. She is my friend, and I’m happy to come.” Pausing for a moment, I smiled and added, “Besides, I love Jane.”

“I know you do, dear,” her mother said. “It’s just that . . . she’s been disappointed so many times before.”

The game ended, and Jane ran over to me. “I did good, didn’t I, Sandy?”

Hugging her, I said, “Yes you did, Jane!” We walked to lunch, arm in arm, and then said our good-byes. That was the last time I saw her. Although we corresponded during most of my college years, the letters eventually stopped.

A few years later, I sent a letter to my special friend. I wanted her to come to my wedding. I pictured her saying, “You did good, Sandy,” cheering me on like I had done for her. Unfortunately, the letter was returned – “No such person at this address.” I felt heartbroken.

Because of Jane, I now find joy in the little things. I know that winning isn’t the only thing that matters. When life sends me in an unexpected direction, I now get right back on course and start again, as I try to wear Jane’s smile.

Every once in a while, I can feel her arm rest on my shoulder as she says, “Hi Sandy, I’m Jane. You did good.”

Sandra J. Bunch
http://www.chickensoup.com 
Morning Storya dn Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
August 4, 2004

Change had blown in on the winds of spring air and catapulted my family into a new era. My brother had graduated from high school in May and would be leaving for college. I had finished my studies and was leaving for a new job in Europe. We only had a few precious months left as a family living under the same roof. Everything would change in the fall.

Dad had quite the reputation for being the gushy, sentimental type. Surprisingly, he was doing okay as an impending empty nester. A few tears were shed when “Pomp and Circumstance” was played at the graduation ceremony, but for the most part he was holding it all together. We were very proud of his composure.

May also brought a family of magpies that would take up residence in our maple tree. This family returned year after year to bicker, squawk, build nests and raise baby magpies.

This particular generation of magpies seemed to be extraordinarily noisy. The tree shook with their daily skirmishes, leaves dropping and horrible sounds coming from the inside of the branches.

One early morning, the ruckus was so bad that my dad ventured out to see what the birds were doing. He found a lone, fledgling magpie hopping around the yard, flapping his little wings and yelling his little birdie head off.

Dad bent down to talk to the bird. “Hey there little guy. What’s going on? Did you fall out of your nest? Poor birdie. Where’s your family?”

He looked up in the tree to find Mommy and Daddy Magpie sitting on a branch and glaring ominously at him. “Oh, there you are. You should keep a closer eye on your baby. We have nasty cats.”

Dad went inside to take a shower. As he was leaving for work, the poor magpie was still hopping about, flapping his wings and trying to fly. He had to do something for the poor little thing.

Dad called the zoo. “Yes, well I have this baby magpie in my yard. He’s trying to learn how to fly but he can’t yet and I just don’t know what to do to help him. Should I catch him and put him in a box? Should I put him back in his nest? Should I bring him to the zoo? I think I should probably just leave him alone but I’m so afraid something is going to happen to him.”

“Sir?” replied the zookeeper, “You do realize that this is a wild animal.”

“Well, yes.”

“And that learning how to fly is a natural process?”

“Sure.”

“Then you should probably just leave him alone. He’ll learn. No offense, but your presence in the yard might be frightening him.”

Dad no longer followed the magpie around the yard. He did, however, watch him vigilantly from the living room window, just to make sure a rogue cat didn’t turn him into lunch.

The next day I got a call at my summer job. It was my father. He never called me at work. “Dad? Is everything okay?”

“Heather, have you seen Morey?”

“Morey?”

“Yes, Morey… Morey the Magpie.”

“You named the bird?”

“I saw him this morning but now I can’t find him. I’ve walked the yard three times. I even looked in the tree but he’s not around. I’m worried.”

“You named the bird?”

“I’m very worried about him.”

“Maybe he finally learned how to fly.”

There was a long pause. “I hope so.”

“Dad, it’s lunch rush. I have eight tables. Gotta go.”

Driving home from work, my Psychology 101 class finally paid off. It wasn’t about the magpie. It was about his own little fledglings who were leaving the nest. It was about my brother and me.

Dad felt as helpless as the mommy and daddy bird watching in the tree. He couldn’t make us fly once we left the nest. He couldn’t will us to be successful and happy. He couldn’t ward off the tabby cats.

In fact, once we left his nest, he could only watch from his own branch, provide love and support and hope for the best.

No wonder he named the bird.

I got home and found him looking out the kitchen window.

“Did you find Morey?”

“No, but I also didn’t find any feathers or signs of a fight. So I think he’s okay. I think he might have learned how to fly.”

“Of course he did. He had very good parents who raised him well, loved him and taught him how to catch worms. They made a nice cozy, warm nest. When it came time to fly, he already knew how to soar.”

My dad had big tears in his eyes. “Well, I’m still going to miss him.”

I snickered. “You’re a funny dad.”

The summer was spent playing, laughing and enjoying time as a family. Dad never did find Morey. I would point out a magpie and ask, “Is that him?”

“No, that’s not Morey.”

“Dad, it’s a magpie. You really can’t tell the difference, can you?”

“Of course I can. We bonded.”

Soon it was the end of August. Bags were packed and it was time for my brother and me to leave the nest. In the end, Dad had nothing to worry about. He raised his little fledglings well….And we flew.

Heather Simms Schichtel
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Dad  [Changing Lives One Story At A Time]
http://www.chickensoup.com 
MS&D

Vintage Dilbert
August 1, 2002

Kleenex ALERT!!!

There is a story many years ago of an elementary teacher. Her name was Mrs. Thompson. And as she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie. She looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn’t play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. And Teddy could be unpleasant. It got tot he point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X’s and then putting a big “F” at the top of his papers.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child’s past records and she put Teddy’s off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.

Teddy’s first grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners…he is a joy to be around.”

His second grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is an excellent student, well-liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.”

His third grade teacher wrote, “His mother’s death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best but his father doesn’t show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren’t taken.”

Teddy’s fourth grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and sometimes sleeps in class.”

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy’s. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing and a bottle that was one quarter full of perfume.

But she stifled the children’s’ laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist.

Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, “Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom, used to.” After the children, left she cried for at least an hour,. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, and writing, and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children.

Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her “teacher’s pets.”

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life. Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, second in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he’d stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor’s degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer. The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, M.D.

The story doesn’t end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he’d met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years earlier and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit I the place at the weeding that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. And she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.

They hugged each other and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson’s ear, “Thank you, Mrs. Thompson, for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference.”

Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, “Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn’t know how to teach until I met you.”

by Elizabeth Silance Ballard
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
July 22, 2015

I have distant friends, neighborhood friends, basketball friends and online friends.  However, I have one group of friends that has really been special to me.

In the fifth grade, my twin sister, Monica, and I transferred to a new school.  Without any hesitation, I went.  I didn’t argue.  Since my mom taught there, I would no longer have to ride the bus with a bunch of rowdy boys and worry about stuff.

At my old school, I hadn’t made any real friends.  I was treated like a complete dork because of the way I looked.  I had glasses, baggy clothes, pimples and blemishes.  I rarely smiled and hardly ever laughed, wore a belt and was overweight.

So, on the first day at my new school, I just hoped that I would make friends.  For a few weeks, I was always alone.  Monica ended up having a different lunch period than I did, so I would just read during recess and lunch.

Then one day, a girl in my class named Cori came up to me at lunch and asked if she could sit by me.  We began to talk, and since we both are twins, it gave us a lot to talk about.

Soon, Cori introduced me to friends of hers – Adriane, Hannah and Toni – and I introduced them to Monica.  Then Cori’s twin, Cole, and his friends Matt and Ross started hanging around with us.  We became one big inseparable group. We did everything together.

Ever since we’ve been together, my friends have always been there for me – even the boys.  They liked me, for me.  Having them in my life changed the way I felt about myself.  Their friendship gave me a sky-high feeling.

I began being more outgoing, like getting involved in student council and entering writing contests – some that I even won!  Then came the sixth grade, our last year of elementary school and the last year for all of us to be going to the same school together.

Adriane, Hannah, Toni, Matt and Ross were going to Tison.  Monica and I would at least still be seeing Cori and Cole since the four of us were all going to Hall Junior High.

I’d also be seeing my “old” classmates from the other elementary school, including some I had run into recently.  Boys who had teased me in my old school, stood staring at me not even knowing who I was.

The girls who previously had treated me like vapor now paid attention to me and called me by name.

I couldn’t figure it out.  I didn’t know why.  I thought that I was the same old me.  But then when I looked in the mirror, I realized that I was a lot different than I had been before.

I wasn’t short and stubby anymore.  I had grown tall and slender and my complexion had cleared up.  The glasses were gone and so were the belts.

I realized then that my friends had done more than just make me feel good – they had made me feel confident because they had supported me, and slowly my appearance had changed.

With their help, I had pushed my weight off. I learned to properly wash my face with the help of my friend Hannah and her magical beauty tips.   With the help of Cori, my belt was gone. Adriane suggested that I wear my glasses only when I really needed them.

My sister, Monica, loves clothes and helped me pay attention to how I dressed. It really helped to hear her say, “Wow, Michelle, that looks FANTASTIC on you!  Man, why couldn’t I have gotten that?”

As I gaze into the mirror, I turn to the left and then to the right.  I smile at my reflection, because I now realize that these people, my true friends, never saw me as a dork. They liked me and I became pretty. They made me bloom.

In conclusion, I have to say…thanks, Cori, Cole, Hannah, Matt, Adriane, Ross, Toni and Monica…Your friendship gave me a life to look forward to. You are the best friends anyone could ever have. I hope I can be that good of friend to the new people I meet.

By Michelle Strauss,
from Chicken Soup for the Soul...
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