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AROUND THE CORNER

2. Why Me?

 

On Friday night, Larry received a call from Herc. He could hardly believe that Herc was calling him, but Larry was very happy to be able to talk to Herc.

 

Herc said that there were a few things he wanted to talk to Larry about, but he wanted to do it in a private place. He said talking to Larry at school was not going to work.

 

Larry said, “Sure. I can meet with you someplace. I know it’s a little bit far for you to come to the park where I walk my dog, but do you think you can make it if you rode your bike?”

 

Herc responded, “I know where that park is. It’s just down the street and around the corner from where you live. Is that right?”

 

Larry said, “That’s it. I usually walk my dog, Sam, on Saturday morning about 7 o’clock. Do you think you could meet me at the park tomorrow morning?”

 

Herc said, “Sure. That’ll be really cool. I’ll see you tomorrow morning. Thanks a lot.”

 

Larry’s family prayed with Larry for this conversation with Herc.

 

——

 

On Saturday morning, Larry got up and walked his dog as usual.

 

When Larry got to the park, Herc was already there.

 

Larry went into the fenced area for the dogs, and let Sam run around.

 

Larry sat down on the bench next to Herc.

 

Herc said, “You know, Larry, I was wondering if I would ever have another friend, again. I guess I need to tell you a little bit about my life so far.”

 

Larry said, “That would be helpful. But I don’t want you to share anything that you’re uncomfortable talking about.”

 

Herc responded “I have had friends before. Actually, last year I was in fourth grade at the school. I had a really good friend. It took me a long time to feel like I was comfortable enough to talk about anything about myself with him. Then something really bad happened. I had several issues with my health in the second half of the year. It caused me to fall behind. The teacher decided it was best if I repeated fourth grade, and my parents agreed. So that’s why I’m in fourth grade again this year. My friend from last year decided that he didn’t want to be my friend anymore. Because I wasn’t smart enough, I guess.”

 

Larry said, “I don’t know what to say. I would never do that to anyone. I know you do your very best you can. And being sick isn’t making it any easier for you.”

 

Herc said, “I haven’t really known you very long, Larry, but I believe you’re a lot different than any of the other friends that I ever had. I just feel like I can trust you.”

 

Larry said, “Thanks, Herc. I really appreciate that.”

 

Herc said, “You probably don’t know this. I don’t think Annabelle even knows this. I did have a sister. We were twins, like you and Lisa. When we were born, my sister and I were both very ill. I don’t understand it, but my parents said that we both had some kind of a rare disease. The reason why Annabelle doesn’t know about my sister is because my sister died when we were three years old. Annabelle is three years younger than me.”

 

Larry said, “I’m so sorry. I don’t know what else to say about that.“

 

Herc said, “Most people think that I’m not very friendly, and I get depressed and upset because I’m sick all the time. That certainly is part of the problem. But that’s not really the main reason why I have such a hard time in life.”

 

Larry sensed that this was going to be very difficult for Herc to share with him. He said, “If you’re not quite ready to share this with me, it’s OK. I’ll still be your friend.”

 

Herc said, with a few tears coming down his face, “Somehow, I knew you would say that. I really need to talk about this with someone.”

 

Larry said, “Sure. Go ahead.”

 

Herc said, “I’m not really much for understanding who God is, and praying to Him, but I was really touched when you told me that you and your family were praying for me. I asked God to help me talk with you.

 

When my sister died, as I said, we were only three years old. But I was old enough to know that she had died, and I really hurt a lot inside. Since then, it has always been, ‘Why me?’ I mean, why did my sister have to die, and I get to continue to live?”

 

Larry responded, “Wow! That’s a really hard one.”

 

Herc said, “If you think that’s a challenge, how about this? I thought I was finally being OK with this. Then, I heard your sister, Lisa, telling the story about your family’s summer. I couldn’t hardly believe it. She said that you are such a wonderful brother. She told her friends how you grabbed a hold of her and pulled her back when she almost fell down the steep hill. She believes you actually put your own life at risk when you did that. I wish I had an opportunity to be able to show my sister how much I loved her like that. But I didn’t.”

 

Larry waited a couple minutes.

 

Then Larry said, “When God puts love in your heart for someone, you always feel like you haven’t been able to do enough for that person.”

 

Then Larry started to cry, but he tried to hold it back.

 

Herc said, “That’s OK, Larry. Even though you’re a guy, you can still have emotions.”

 

Larry said, “Do you know the elderly man who lives down the street from me? We call him ‘Grandpa’.”

 

Herc said, “I heard about him. He seems like a really fantastic guy. He really cares for you guys. Just like he was your real grandpa.”

 

Larry said, “Grandpa tell us stories. For a while I really wondered how he could tell them was such passion and emotion. It was almost like he was in the stories himself. Then one day, he told a story that was so life-like. We found out that the story he told was about his son and his son‘s best friend. Grandpa’s son was a twin, also. The daughter died earlier than the son. There’s a lot more to this than I can share right now. And I know Grandpa could share a whole lot better than I can. Would you like to meet Grandpa sometime?”

 

Herc said, “Yes. That would be fantastic!”

 

Larry said, “Thank you for sharing all of this with me. I know we’re going to be great friends. I will let Grandpa know that you want to meet him. He really is a neat guy.”

 

Herc said, “Thanks, Larry. I guess I better go back home now, and you probably need to take care of your dog. And go home and have breakfast with your family. “

 

Larry said, “OK. You know, Herc, my family has been also praying for your family, that you all will be able to spend more time together. And that you will feel love from your parents. “

 

Herc said, “I really appreciate that, Larry. I don’t know how that can happen, because my dad has such a very demanding job, but it might happen. I guess I’m believing that it will.”

 

Larry said, “The Bible says, ‘All things are possible with God’. I hope you have a great day. Thanks for talking with me. And thanks for trusting me as a friend.”

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