Paul, my first friend, went to preschool with me. He also went to church with me; his dad was our pastor. When my own momma was in California with her sick momma, I stayed with Paul's family while my daddy worked. When I lost ... literally lost ... my first tooth on the way home from school to Paul's house, he retraced my steps with me looking for the tooth. We never found it.
When we started kindergarten, I was in the morning session, and Paul was in the afternoon session. I would draw pictures for him to see when he came in after lunch. He would draw pictures for me to see first thing in the morning. Our kindergarten teacher recommended that we be put in the same first grade class because we loved each other so much and were so connected. Once in the first grade, we didn't talk to each other at school. But we played endlessly with each other outside of school.
At some point our first grade year, the older kids at church weren't going to light the candles in church. Guess who got to? Not me. Paul. I cried, and he told me that it was okay. I could light the candles ... the next week.
That's a true friend right there. They help you see the bright side--I would get the light the candles; but they keep it real--I'll do it the next week.
That summer, Paul moved. We've kept up with each other somewhat through the magic that is Facebook. He's now a firefighter. I find it ironic that he now puts out fires.