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Tinfoil and a Hair Ribbon
     
Not a letter, not a card, and not even a call. 
How could Jane have forgotten, when they'd been through it all?
Teardrops and heartache, they'd shared many things,
Crushes on boys, their hopes and their dreams.

Haircuts and makeup and CDs and clothes
Secrets and habits, they even shared those.
So where could she be, didn't she care?
Why didn't Jane come, why wasn't she there?

Through the second grade, third grade, fourth grade, too,
The fifth, sixth and seventh, their friendship grew.
Always and forever, they vowed till the end
To faithfully be there, as the other's best friend.

And they always had been, even when Jane moved away.
But for whatever reason, she wasn't there on that day.
And Allie felt sad as she circled the crowd
As her graduation party grew increasingly loud.

And then she heard it, a loud knock on the door
As she quickly hurried across the bustling floor.
Weaving through family and friends without care
Hoping and praying, when she opened the door, 
that Jane would be there.

But there on the stoop was a deliveryman instead
In his hand was a package, addressed to Allie, he read.
She reached for the package and brought it inside
And as she tore open the cover, she started to cry.

For the package was wrapped in tinfoil, with a hair
   ribbon tied with great care
And a million memories came flooding back, as Allie stood
   tearfully there.
For Jane hadn't forgotten, and as a smile crossed her face
Allie's memories took her back to another place.

Many years prior when she and Jane were so young
When they joined the local Brownie troop all in great fun.
And Allie was so excited about the Christmas party her
   troop was to have
That she never noticed that Jane didn't seem quite as glad.

On the day of the party, everyone brought an unmarked gift,
   and numbers were drawn
And with anxious eyes, Allie and Jane both looked on.
At the table piled high with presents galore
Wrapped in beautiful paper and ribbons bought from the store.

But one particular gift seemed out of place and well hidden
For it was wrapped in tinfoil and tied with a worn-out hair ribbon.
"What kind of person would give a gift that's so lame?"
The girl who received it cried out in blame.

Tears stung Jane's eyes as the girl carried on
Complaining quite loudly how much she'd been wronged.
As her accusing eyes searched, looking at each girl all around
Jane shifted nervously and stared at the ground.

For inside the package was Jane's favorite bear
And the ribbon on the package, Jane had worn in her hair.
And because Jane lived with her grandma, and money was tight
She gave away her most treasured thing, because she felt it was right.

And just when Jane felt the presence of tears
She heard her friend Allie saying quite clear.
"I'll trade you," she said, as she offered her gift
Of nail polish and jewelry, all glamour and glitz.

"I've always loved bears, and that one is especially neat"
As she grabbed the bear from the girl and returned to her seat.
And it was then on that night, they each knew for all time
They'd found a true friend, a one-of-a-kind.

For Allie knew what it meant for Jane to give up that bear
And she knew how special the ribbon was that Jane once wore
   in her hair.
For Jane's mommy and daddy died when she was just five
And the bear and the ribbon helped to keep their memory alive.
For Jane's daddy had lovingly given his daughter that bear
And Jane's mommy had crocheted the ribbon to put in Jane's hair.
And so as the girls walked side by side together alone
Allie handed the bear and the ribbon back to Jane before they got home.

And no words had to be said, as they both started to cry
And then they each headed to their houses, waving good-bye.
Tears streaked down Allie's face, as she stared again at that old bear
And the crocheted ribbon Jane once wore in her hair.

And then with trembling hands, she retrieved from the box a
   handwritten note
And read over and over the words Jane had wrote.
"I'm sorry I couldn't be there, Allie, but Grandma is ill
    Yet I wanted you to know that I think of you still   
As my very best friend whom I always will love.

"And so with my bear and my ribbon, I send you a hug.
I should have called sooner, but I didn't want to dampen your day.
And I knew if I told you about Grandma, you would have
   hurried my way.
And I wanted your party to be all you deserve.
I'm still your best friend, Allie, you have my word."

Always and forever, they vowed till the end
To faithfully be there, as the other's best friend.
And as Allie held the ribbon and hugged that old bear
She knew Jane was the one friend who always would care.

And then Allie decided her best friend should not be alone
As she went to her bedroom and reached for the phone.
 
 

By Cheryl Costello-Forshey, Reprinted by permission of Cheryl Costello-Forshey (c) 2002 from Chicken Soup 
for the Teenage Soul on Love and Friendship by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Kimberly Kirberger. 


 


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