In "A Christmas Memory," what happens to Buddy's friend?

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Buddy is seven at the time of his memorable Christmas, and his friend is already "quite elderly".  He says that that the Christmas he describes is their last together. Buddy is sent away to military school after that, and the two correspond for awhile, and every Christmas his friend sends him a fruitcake, to keep up their holiday tradition.  As time passes, his friend becomes increasingly infirm with age.  One day Buddy receives a message saying she died, but for him this is not surprising news - somehow, through the connection they shared, he already knew of her passing in his heart.