Imagine the theme song from Golden Girls.“Thank you for being a friend…”
In elementary school, I had a group of friends. Then I had close friends with whom I went through middle school. I developed a different set of friends in high school. I left college with a few close friends and I later bonded with other members of the Mommy and Me groups in which I participated.
I never thought my closest friends would be those I met after 50
But I never imagined that my closest, best group of friends would be acquired after I turned 50, over the hill, after my kids were grown. After I had time to mature and become who I was meant to be. Unlike my childhood friends, this group of ladies accepts me as I am, not because of what I can do, or what I have, or how pretty I am. They accept my heart. My soul. My past. My faults.
Currently, there are seven of us in this close circle. At one point, we all worked together. We span two decades in our ages. We are married, divorced, employed, and retired. We are all mothers, and some of us are grandmothers. We are healthy, ailing, aging, and always dieting. We are Republicans and Democrats. We are different heights, sizes, and physical fitness levels.
And we accept our similarities and differences unconditionally.
One of us is scattered, yet full of life.
One of us is organized, yet adventurous.
One of us is quiet, yet deeply loyal.
One of us is always late, yet always present in the moment.
One of us is wise, yet growing.
One of us is dominant, yet nurturing.
One of us is quick witted, yet quick to lend an ear.
And yet, we all seem to take turns being each of these things.
We are all committed to fostering these friendships
We are committed to fostering our friendship. Whether it’s coffee on Friday mornings or drinks on Thursday nights. Whether it’s a quiet bible study or a rowdy girls’ trip. We’ve learned who we trust to cook and who we trust to drive. We meet in houses, on trails, and in bars. We meet to knit and meet to eat. We text, Snapchat, instant message, and email. I feel really hip when my phone pings constantly (the fact that I use the word “hip” suggests the opposite) in front of my family. I puff out my sagging chest when I am tagged with my friends on Facebook.
Yeah, that’s right. Mom is cool and has cool friends.
We know details about each other’s’ lives that would mortify our spouses. We are emotionally invested in each other’s kids since we’ve shared struggles and prayers about them. We’ve divulged our pasts, our gripes, our embarrassing moments, and even our demands concerning our deaths.
Our times together are full of cackling and chaos. Games and gorging. Nonstop talking and nonstop harmony. In fact, our times together would make for a good sitcom.
Someone is always saying something hilarious. Someone is always needing a bathroom. Someone is usually lost or confused. Someone on time is always waiting on someone who’s late. Someone always has left something needed behind. Someone is always snacking. Someone is hot and someone is cold. Someone is enjoying the clifftop view while someone is gasping by a tree. Someone is always drinking water or usually wine. Someone is always threatening to wet her pants from laughter.
These friends were worth the wait
These friends. These times. Worth the wait. Unconditional acceptance, unwavering devotion. So never fear, ladies. When you’re zooming down the shadowed side of being over the hill, reach out and grab the friends that will slide down with you. The ones whose differences complement you. Their experiences inspire you. Whose hands support you.
Your later-in-life friends. They’re the ones you want giggling at your funeral someday. They are your true friends.
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