BY ERICA LACHMAN
Renae and I first met in a drama class when I was in the seventh grade. I remember she always wore these pretty pink outfits with a matching hair-tie to pull back her black, curly hair.
I don’t remember our first conversation, but I knew we would become friends. Before long, we became close and now we are sisters.
The way she sees the world is how I see it. We both see animals and we go crazy. Laughing is a must, and keeping close friends is important. After she asked me in eighth grade if I could join Best Buddies, the organization that pairs special needs students with friendly partners, I jumped on the idea. It was a way to become even closer, and there is always something to look forward to, like the Petting Zoo and movie nights.
Though Renae is autistic, she has one of the biggest hearts. She puts people before herself and her priority is to make sure everyone is okay.
When I was stressing over school grades, she became very worried that school was affecting me. She likes to dance, I know she does; it just takes a tickle or two and she’ll start jamming.
Her mother, Brenda Wadler, has got to be one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. She told me once that she wants to give Renae the most normal life as possible. Renae’s upcoming “Frozen” themed birthday party in May will be my fourth year attending. Renae deserves great parties, and her parents succeed in giving her those.
Renae has made me a better person: the way she sees how people feel, how she smiles at all times, and how she lights everything up with her happiness. She has made me a happier and positive person throughout my days.
Once, I lost my iPhone and, without my knowing, Renae did not give up looking for it and asked several administrators about it. An administrator told me he had found it. I wondered who asked him if he had it, and sure enough, it was Renae with a big smile on her face. The way she cares about others is mesmerizing.
Recently, we’ve been talking about our favorite dog, the Great Pyrenees (which looks like a small polar bear). All of our common interests show how much we are together.
I am looking forward to the Best Buddies Walk later this month where I can walk with my partner in crime, my second half, and my long lost sister. Renae is an amazing friend whom I hope to keep forever.