My Friend Anthony

My Friend Anthony

From Chicken Soup for the Kid's Soul

My Friend Anthony

Whenever I think back to third grade, I think of my friend Anthony. He had blond hair and big, brown, expressive eyes. I had been surprised to see that he was in my class because he was older than I was.

Although Anthony had AIDS and knew his days were limited, he was always eager to come to school and try to lead a normal life. Some days, he got tired and had to leave early. His mother usually came every day to eat lunch with him or just to be with him. It seemed like he always had a positive outlook on things even though he knew everything wasn’t okay. He came to school with what appeared to be a medicine pouch attached to his waist. Many times I felt sorry for him because I knew he must have been in pain.

In June of that year, Anthony died. I clearly remember that he wore a Charlotte Hornets windbreaker outfit in his coffin, and lying beside him was his Cabbage Patch doll, along with a small bag of toys. After that, I sometimes lied awake at night, afraid to go to sleep because I was afraid of dying.

I knew Anthony had left his body to go to a better place, a place without pain, but I felt bad for his family because they would always feel empty without Anthony.

During the year that I had gone to school with Anthony, I had grown to respect him and his mother, too. Through her love and compassion, she taught Anthony, as well as others such as myself, to be brave, and to love, care for and respect everyone. Anthony had taught me to live life to the fullest, and I intend to do just that.

Katie Short, age 12

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