Lesson in Letters: Staff writer builds friendship with English pen pal

Friendships can extend over miles … and sometimes overseas.

When I was in eighth grade, I made a friend. Her name is Amy and she lives in England.

Despite the distance between us, and some cultural and language differences, we met over a writing website. We had subscribed to each other’s story.

Conversation bubbled between us. We spoke at length about little things. Days passed and conversation did not die out. Weeks passed, and still nothing changed.

She offered her email to me and I offered mine.

Amy and I did more things together the closer we got. We talked through our cameras despite the eight-hour difference. We made gifts, bought gifts, sent things by mail and eventually we edited each other’s work.

Our exchanges brushed the surface, dove deep and were nothing short of inspirational. To this day, we draw strength from one another when we need someone to be there for us.

I have never quite had a friendship like ours before. In a way, it is in its own category. These mountains we have climbed together, the things we have overcome, they are a promise for the future. Thick or thin, tough or easy, we’ll be there for each other.

Over all these years, I have learned many things from her struggles, including racism, but I have learned great things from her triumphs, as well. From afar, I have been moved as Amy has shared happiness, hope, grace, an open mind and, most of all, no judgment.

To this day, we have never met in person, but I have faith that we will be life-long friends.

Pen pals are adventures. Treat them right, and they could be the adventure of your lifetime.

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