By Yoke-Yin Chong Purcaro


"A brother may not be a friend, but a friend will always be a brother." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Bonnie, a friend of mine, bought a little book for me called Always a Friend - Celebrating the Gift of Friendship from her vacation. The contents of this book are the scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, as well as quotations from some well known people in the world. One of the quotations from this book is ďA brother may not be a friend, but a friend will always be a brother.Ē spoken by Benjamin Franklin. That is true!! Your brother might not always be there to help you; but, most of the time; your friend will be the one who is there for you.  

I canít imagine what my life would be without friends. Once, I thought a friend was just another person to go shopping with you, to hang out with you, to talk to you when you are bored. Yet, later, I discovered that a friend is not just another person, but someone who will share your happiness and sadness. After living by myself for thirteen years, I truly understand the meaning of friendship. While Iím so far away from my family, I have my friends to share the ups and downs in my life.  

I have many friends from all over the world with different cultures and languages. The majority of them are my high school friends. And I still have one friend whom I met in third grade. My friends, who live far away in such places as Europe and Asia , can only email or call once in a while to catch up on our lives. My friends, who live nearby me, and I hang out very often, especially during special occasions such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and our birthdays.  

After I graduated, I was struggling with job hunting. I spent almost a year trying to find a job that related to my studies. Bonnie is a lady I met from the Dean of Student at Cal State Fullerton. She is not just a friend of mine, but also a counselor, a listener and a teacher. We talk and share a lot about our lives. From our conversations, I realized that there is no ďuselessĒ person in this world. She always makes me think in positive ways and encourages me to do things that I would like to do. We used to go to the beach and have long conversations. On my birthday, she would spend the whole day with me in Huntington Library. On my graduation, she was the one to share my happiness. I donít even remember how many sleepless nights I had due to the pressures in life; but, I was lucky enough to have a friend like Bonnie who would patiently listen to me, and talk to me about my fears.  

Iíve lost contacted with some of my friends. Sometimes, when I looked at the photos we took together, I really miss them. I donít know where they are, and how they are doing right now. I wonder if they miss me like I miss them, and I wonder if they still remember me, a friend of theirs. 

At the Christmas Repast.

At the tea party.

How could we forget...

Celebrating Thanksgiving at Bonnie's house.

Helen and I.