by James Olewiler
Buddy’s friend in “A Christmas Memory” is a good example of a kind and loving friend. Through her love and friendship, she has brought happiness with her unselfish generosity.

Buddy’s friend is an old lady who is actually Buddy’s distant cousin, and is 60-something years old. She has the mind of a child; and loves to have fun no matter how old she might be. Her hair is a whitish color and her eyes are like sherry and timid. Her clothes are simple and plain; a calico dress with an old worn, gray sweater on top of it along with tennis shoes. Buddy’s friend is small, but very sprighty and always busy. Her relatives might think she is eccentric and odd, but Buddy sees her as a loving old woman.

The kind, old woman is very poor and conserves all her money. Dimes are considered dollars to her and every nickel or quarter that is found is secretly stashed away in her little bead purse under a floorboard underneath her bed. She has never seen a movie, eaten at a restaurant, or traveled more than five miles away from her home. She’s also never received or sent a telegram, read anything except the Bible or the “funnies” from the newspaper, or has worn any kind of cosmetics. Cursing, wishing anyone harm, telling a lie on purpose, or letting a poor dog go hungry she has also never done. She spends the thirteenths of every month in bed, and even though she isn’t really too superstitious, always makes sure she doesn’t end up with a “13th” amount of money.

She is also very resourceful, and thinks of many ways to earn money. Rummage sales, selling buckets of hand-picked blackberries, homemade jam and jelly, getting flowers for weddings and funerals, and entering many contests are all some of the ways she tries to earn money. One time Buddy and her conducted a fun and freak show in an old woodshed. A slide projector with photos of Washington DC and New York along with a three-legged chicken who was the “freak” made that event very exciting and rewarding, raking in a good twenty dollars. With the money she earns, she uses some to buy ingredients for her fruitcakes she makes every late November. She later gives the fruitcakes to people who she both knows and has not known.

Because of her kindness and generosity, people know her as a loving, caring woman who enjoys pleasing others. She is Buddy’s hero, and he thinks of her as “more fun than anybody”. Through her simplicity and ignorance of life, consideration and kindness to other people is shown. Even though not too many people may care about her, Buddy will always remember her, for she has earned a special place in his life.