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  • Jeffrey was my best friend my first five years.
    I would later learn that he was learning challenged,
    “Retarded” is what they called what he had back then;
    All I knew those first five years was he was my friend.

    He lived up the street from me, our parents were good friends,
    I could spend all day playing over there, he made me laugh,
    He was funny and liked to have fun, and so did I!
    We got along famously, as good friends often do.

    Then one day, when I was away, my friend was riding
    Down the steep hill at the end of our street in a wagon.
    Two girls from the neighborhood were riding with him.
    Suddenly, they screamed and jumped out when they saw the truck.

    A big tractor-trailor came rumbling down the busier road
    That our street ended into, but Jeffrey was having fun,
    Riding that wagon down that hill was such a thrill!
    He never saw the truck, and kept on riding that wagon down...

    The truck never saw him coming until it was much too late,
    Jeffrey rode right into it’s mighty wheels, just as the brakes locked;
    His head wound up jammed between two big wheels.
    Through some incredible miracle, he survived that tragedy.

    But, I didn’t see my friend for many months, as he underwent
    Numerous surgeries, much hospitalization and rehabilitation.
    At that age, it seemed like years went by while he was gone.
    When I did see him again, he was not the same, nor was I.

    I now noticed how slow Jeffrey was, now that he wasn’t as fun.
    The accident had really changed him in every way;
    I’d gotten used to not going over there to play and now,
    When I did, it would seem like a really long day.

    While I stayed in touch and would visit at times,
    The friendship we had was never the same after that day.
    I’ve often wondered if this would have happened, anyway,
    Eventually? Or, if that accident took the friendship away?

    I still remember the fun we used to have, together,
    Before the tragic event of that fateful day, so long ago;
    Back when I didn’t notice that he was slow, when
    It didn’t matter to me - he was my friend, and we just had fun.
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