Since retiring, I've had the opportunity to spend more time with my girlfriends. There's the high school friends who recently met for lunch - some of us had not seen each other since high school and I won't say how many years ago that's been. It was a time to catch up and we found similarities in our lives that I don't think we would have found so many years ago. We all have spouses, children and grandchilden. We share a belief in God, family values and a zest for living. We agreed that these are friendships that we will feed and grow and I look forward to more outings with these girlfriends.
Then there are my "girlfriends" in my community who were having fun without me until retirement forced me upon them. We have grown closer by sharing lunches, exercise activities, club meetings and trips together. These girlfriends are close to home and we are always there for each other. I have some funny stories to share in future blogs - blonde jokes (usually about me) and driving mishaps (usually about Camille).
There are my sisters - who are also my girlfriends. We love being together and enjoy a relationship like no other. My oldest sister Jean thinks she's my mother - tells me to stand up straight, stop shuffling my feet, etc. My middle sister, Gerrie who I would always spy on when she was dating and who has become such an important part of my life. And my closest to my age sister, Martha who always took me and my friends to the beach when we were teens and has been with me through ups and downs all of our lives. I'm so blessed to have sister girlfriends.
There are the girlfriends that I worked with who think I have abandoned them - I have only managed some short visits here and there. They can't go out for lunch since they are "married" to elementary school - but we find a way to visit - girlfriends always find a way.
Then there are the "true blues" that I have had since our elementary school days - Marlene, Linda, Brenda, Gloria. We have shared the closest bonds throughout the years because we grew up together. We knew each other when we were wearing pigtails and crinolines and we built bonds that were made to last. The growing up years - especially the teen years are a narrow, difficult slice of life -and to come out of those years with the same group of friends is somewhat short of miraculous - but we did it. Thank God for those friends - they have kept me sane.
As we get older, friendships get better. We girlfriends are not jealous of each other's friends like we were in our younger years. Back then, three was a crowd and all vying for each other's attention, but as we mature, we readily accept new ones into the foal. I watched my daughters form friendships growing up - some tenuous relationships based on classes or activities they shared - but each of my daughters still have at least one true girlfriend from the past with whom they will always share a bond. Now I'm watching my granddaughters do the same. Friendships tend to be filled with complications and drama during childhood but they always seem to figure it out.
We never outgrow our need for girlfriends. We share laughter and tears. We know each other's flaws and confide our deepest thoughts. We're always there for each other with a box of tissues, a cup of tea and chocolate. To all my girlfriends - God brought you into my life and for that I will be forever grateful.
|Sisters - left to right - Jean, Me, Martha and Gerrie|
|Church / Community girlfriends - Pat and Camille|
|Church / Community girlfriends -Lynn, Linda, Annette|
|High School girlfriends: Linda, me, Sandy, Vicki, Brenda & Marlene|