Before I move on to the amazing excitement that was my sophomore year at Patrick Henry High, I'd like to give something of a shout out to a few people that touched me in ways that probably never knew during that freshman year. I doubt that any of them read this blog, and though I'm Facebook friends with 2 of them, it's the kind of thing where we really aren't in contact. They're just kind of there on my friends list. Just like a lot of people I've lost touch with over the years.
Anyway, the first I want to mention is a girl from my class named Megan. While I was in the hospital, she wrote me a letter. It wasn't anything deep or incredibly meaningful. It was just a simple letter shooting the breeze. I think she was just explaining how her week had been. It was nice to hear about how a normal week had gone outside of those walls that had, sadly, become my temporary home. I know I had received another letter from my entire class, which was nice. But as far as I can remember, she's the only one who individually sent me anything. It meant a lot.
Next was a girl named Debra. During my first semester in 9th grade, I took a Drawing class during 1st period. That meant that every other day at 7:30am, I sat in a dimly lit room sketching things like bowls of fruit and silverware. I think I once had to draw my shoes while they were still on my feet. Debra and Eric were seniors who sat at the same table as I did. Therefore, they were way cooler than I ever was. At least while I was in high school. Anyway, they both made me feel like a real person, as opposed to most of the upper-classmen who treated freshmen like they were second class citizens. But late in the school year, long after the hospital ordeal, Debra came up to me at lunch. I was sitting alone (which wasn't necessarily the norm) in the cafeteria and she sat across from me for a few minutes one day. She wasn't sure if I would remember her. Of course I remembered her. She was a beautiful senior girl who spoke to me on the first day of school. The real shock was that she remembered me, a kid that disappeared from class for two months. I don't remember our conversation, but it mostly revolved around how she had been worried about me and was glad to see I was feeling better. She didn't have to leave the senior section that day to tell me those things, but she did.
Finally there was Scott. I can't say that I was ever really friends with Scott. At least, not good friends. It isn't that we didn't get along. We just ran in different circles. However, we were in a lot of the same classes. Scott was just one of those genuinely nice guys. Well, he was nice to me. And, like I said about Debra, he didn't have to be. I wasn't one of those popular kids that people are nice to just so they can get attention from them. But I saw Scott as one of the popular kids. And really, he was one of the popular kids. Pretty sure he was in the upper echelon of student government by the time we were seniors. But he wasn't one of the popular ones that was snobby about it. But he came up to me one day when I was sitting outside and just wanted to talk about how things were going. I know it doesn't seem like much, but to a kid that, at the time, didn't feel like he didn't have a real circle of friends, it meant a lot.
I know there are more examples of people reaching out to me that freshman year, they just escape my memory these days. So I guess this is my way of saying thank you to those who did. And if there are any high school aged kids reading this post, keep a look out for kids that might be hurting or may just have some self-esteem issues. Reach out to them. You never know just how much good you might be doing in their lives just be saying hello and sharing a piece of your day with them.