Friendship can be complicated, for sure, but it's almost always worth the journey. When Because of Winn-Dixie begins, poor little Opal has no mother, no friends, and a dad who doesn't even have enough time to grocery shop, for Pete's sake. By the end of the story, she's sitting with a whole host of folks singing "Kumbaya." Okay, not literally "Kumbaya," but they're still all singing together. But the journey from Point A to Point B had plenty of complications and a few hiccups. That's the thing about friendship. It's rarely simple, and we can't always tell where it will lead. But at least we know it'll lead somewhere good. Like maybe Hawaii. Or New Zealand.
Winn-Dixie and Opal became best friends not just because she found him in the store, but also because they truly understood each others' trials.
More than any other relationship, Opal's friendship with Gloria Dump gave her the strength to get over her mother's absence.