Writer’s Workshop: Friendship They Gave

2.) A childhood friend.

When you’re seven and your Dad dies you will grow up with a very close group of catholic school friends. You will fight with the girls in your class at first recess and be best friends again by second because that’s how girls are. Your class will know about your Dad because all of them were there when you gave your report on brain cancer and all of them feel adequately sorry for you.

You will be glad to have your best boy cousin Matt in class with you every year because his laughing eyes are family and he’s one of the few who feels the magnitude of your loss with you. His loss too. Erin Freeman’s friendship was the gift you received when your goofy parents became friends with her goofy parents and because of this she is precious to you.

When you are in seventh grade Miss Davison will talk to the class about strength and overcoming obstacles that help you to grow as a person. She will ask the class if any of you knew of someone who lived with intense pain or faced obstacles, but stayed positive despite it all and showed tremendous strength. You will raise your hand and you will tell her all about your Dad and his pain and how strong he was.

She will say “thank you!” and “that is a terrific example!” and then she will say “so he’s okay now and he overcame and everything is great!?!”…and your face will turn red. The entire class will laugh out loud, because they know everything is not okay. And you will feel embarrassed because you thought she knew. You will start to cry right there in front of everyone even though you’re too old for that now and the funny girl is not supposed to cry.

You know your friends are laughing because they’re uncomfortable and not because you were stupid to use your Dad as an example of strength when he didn’t survive, but you will still feel stupid for using your Dad as an example strength…because he didn’t survive. You will feel alone and embarrassed beneath the laughing friends and you will want to go home.

When you least expect it you will feel a hand on your shoulder. You will look up to see Erin Freeman who is not laughing but is quietly asking if you’re okay. And you will love her for that moment. That moment that made you feel less alone and less stupid.

As an adult you will believe that if only one wonderful thing came of your goofy Dad’s friendship with Erin Freeman’s goofy Dad, it was the foundation of friendship they gave their daughters that would one day result in one little girl’s hand on the others shoulder.

And you will be grateful for the gift.

When You’re Seven And Your Dad Dies: Second Grade
The Funeral
Extended Family
The Manger

Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1.) What were you blogging about a year ago today? What has changed?
2.) A childhood friend.
3.) A hobby you would pursue if you were the type to pursue hobbies.
4.) A trend you’re not much a fan of.
5.) Something your child did or said this week that made you smile.


  1. says

    very touching. I can’t even imagine what you went through as a child . It’s been difficult enough as an adult losing my parents. Thanks for sharing.

  2. says

    Everybody needs an Erin Freeman in her life, and I can only hope that at some point I am an Erin Freeman for someone who really needs it. Great story.

  3. says

    What a beautiful post! How wonderful that at such a young age she knew just what was needed…to stand by her friend! A lesson all of us could learn.

  4. says

    I am so glad that you had a friend who could be there like that for you. Love the story. Almost had me weeping at my desk though.

  5. says

    What a wonderful example of friendship! I would’ve cherished that moment as well. We moved so much I didn’t have any close friends until high school.

  6. says

    I’m so glad you had an Erin Freeman in your life! And I notice she didn’t say a bunch of wise words or anything, she just let you know she was there for you.

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Tania says

    I’m curious. Do you bawl every single time you add to the When you’re seven and your Dad dies “series” (for lack of better words)? Because every single time I read one of them I get really emotional and start to think about my own aging father. I end up teary-eyed with a lump in my chest. Your writing is very powerful and I hope that it serves as a good outlet for such a painful event in your life.

  8. says

    Geez, Kat, you had to make me cry…..

    That was beautiful; you were lucky to have such a wonderful, compassionate friend in your life. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  9. says

    Oh, my goodness. What a wonderful and sad story. Thank you so much for sharing, and for showing us that small doses of compassion can mean so much. I’m so sorry about your dad and your very early sorrows.

  10. says

    I didn’t get a chance to read this yesterday, because I was in a hurry when I linked up, but a quick scan had me making sure I came back to really read and I’m so glad I did. This is beautiful and shows how a seemingly small gesture can make a HUGE impact.