I cannot stress enough the importance of my friends, especially the female ones because without them life would be very mundane. The men in my life are wonderful too, and very necessary (who else would BBQ or bash the bugs?) but my girlfriends are my lifeline.
While out walking yesterday, I suddenly thought of a woman, Vera, with whom I’d worked back in 1979. She would’ve been in her fifties then, I was 19, and despite the age difference we had so very much in common (hard to imagine, I know) Warm and wonderful memories came flooding back. She was fun and funny, the best boss I ever had, and she could relate to anyone. It’s been about 35 years since I’ve seen her so to have her appear in my minds-eye now is puzzling. When I got home I googled her and saw an obituary advising she’d passed last fall in her mid-nineties and despite my sorrow for the world at losing such a kind soul, I was comforted by my memories of her. Her acceptance of everyone, her zest for life, and her ready laugh was infectious.
Another ‘senior’ who often returns to my thoughts is my Godmother, who also passed in her nineties some 8 years ago. She was kind and gentle, and as a child I adored her. She had a hard life but always managed to celebrate anothers success without jealousy or envy, and despite the hardship and sadness that seemed a part of her daily life, she always managed a smile upon greeting another. She accepted her lot in life begrudging no one, and celebrated the few joys fate granted her with complete gratitude. Her selflessness was admirable.
How lucky am I to have known such wonderful people? And the beauty of it all is that I still have a wealth of wonderful women in my life. Not a week goes by where I don’t make plans to do something with one of my girls. I hike with one, shop with another, play cards with some, and with others I just chat, or eat, or have coffee/wine, because being with them in any way is wonderful.
And those I cannot see regularly (due to proximity) I stay in touch with by phone, text, or email (thank heaven for technology) and my connection to each is often very different. Some make me laugh (my husband knows when I’m on the phone with my sister because it’s 40 minutes of laughter interrupted only by pee breaks), some make me think (I do try to limit my time with these people….makes my head hurt) and others enlighten me.
I wonder if these women know the impact they’ve had on my life, and still do. At some point they forged a bond with me and I hope I bring to them what they bring to me, a sense of belonging, kinship, camaraderie, and fun. Now I won’t discount the value of the men in my life because they too add value, but time with them always comes with expectation. We are together for a reason and once that reason is fulfilled we go in separate directions until the next need arises, usually household or family related. (Don’t misunderstand me, I adore my husband. He cracks me up like only my sister can, and we have fun…but let’s face it, men are work. They need to be fed and cared for, not unlike a hamster. Women on the other hand, make no demands on other women…it’s just fun) With women there is no expectation. We get together just because we want to.
When I reflect on my wealth of friends I love them all, women, men, even the pets I’ve come to love because each has brought me laughter and tears and joy and comfort and support. Life is nothing without friends.
To all the girls I’ve loved before (ok, shameless pilfering from the Willie Nelson song!)……..and still do…….always will. The little ones, middle ones, the oldies, the newbies…..all make it so great.
Here’s to the sisterhood and may there never be a world without women!