So I walk into the rink the other day and my friend Sonia says, “Hey, I got you a present.” It’s not my birthday and it’s not Christmas or Hanukkah or New Year’s or any other celebratory occasion, but she hands me this…
…and says, “This is to remind you of your friend.” And I remembered, and burst out laughing.
Sonia had a Valentine’s Day party this year, and one of the games we played was to pick out M&Ms from a bowl. Each color corresponded to a topic that we had to talk about, like “favorite restaurant” or “person you’d most like to meet.” Mine was “childhood friend,” and so I told a story about my friend the bee.
One summer when I was little (old enough to go outside by myself but not old enough for school) I remember having a friend who was a bee. I would go out each day and sit on the back stoop and this bee would come and fly around my head and then fly off. This went on for days. I can still remember what it felt like to have him fly around my head.
Then one day I went out and found him smashed against the picnic table.
So Sonia remembered my rather tragic story (which came off as quite funny in retrospect) and got me this little plastic guy to commemorate my early friendship and loss. I hung this new friend (he is part of a keychain) on my skating bag to remind me that these relationships never lose their importance, even half a century (or more) later.
He even lights up!