Our Female Friendships
A dear friend emailed this to me and I thought it was worth passing along. Since there was no name attached, I am unable to credit the author. Undoubtedly, she is a wise woman and her thoughts are touching as well as true. I’m sure she would want me to share them:
“A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day, drinking iced tea and visiting with her mother. As they talked about life, about marriage, and the responsibilities and obligations of adulthood, the mother clinked the ice cubes in her glass thoughtfully. Then, she turned a clear, sober glance upon her daughter.
‘Don’t forget your Sisters,’ she advised, swirling the tealeaves to the bottom of her glass. ‘They’ll be more important as you get older. No matter how much you love your husband, no matter how much you love the children you may have, you are still going to need Sisters. Remember to go places with them now and then; do things with them.
Remember that ‘Sisters’ means ALL the women… your girlfriends, your daughters, and all your other women relatives too. You’ll need other women. Women always do.’
‘What a funny piece of advice!’ the young woman thought. ‘Haven’t I just gotten married? Haven’t I just joined the couple-world? I’m now a married woman, for goodness sake! A grownup! Surely my husband and the family we may start will be all I need to make my life worthwhile!’
But, she listened to her mother. She kept contact with her Sisters and made more women friends each year. As the years tumbled by, one after another, she gradually came to understand that her mom really knew what she was talking about.
As time and nature work their changes and their mysteries upon a woman, Sisters are the mainstays of her life. After more than 50 years of living in this world, here is what I’ve learned:
Children grow up.
Jobs come and go.
Love waxes and wanes.
Men can disappoint.
Hearts can break.
Colleagues forget favors.
BUT… Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are between you. A girlfriend is never farther away than needing her can reach. When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you have to walk it by yourself, the women in your life will be on the valley’s rim, cheering you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley’s end. Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you…or come in and carry you out…”
This reminder of the bonds and joys of friendship really struck a chord with me. I thought of all the Sisters who have been there for me over my life and how grateful I am to each and every one of you. You have cheered me on, walked beside me, and, sometimes, pulled me up and carried me out of the valley. (And, I’m no petite lightweight!)
Our female friendships form the foundation from which we draw the support to face life’s bigger challenges. How fortunate we ladies are to be blessed with the hormonal and emotional make-up that causes us to desire intimacy. How lovely it is to share with others on a deep and profound level. How lucky we are to be able to connect through our words and our experiences, openly express our vulnerabilities and fears, and receive compassion and support. What a blessing to find acceptance and love for our authentic selves, imperfect and flawed as we may be. Female friendships truly are the mainstay of our lives.
Best of all, by the time we’ve reached our half-century birthdays, we have enjoyed a lifetime of such friendships. We ladies have weathered life’s ups and downs, the losses and the triumphs, and are now sharing the challenges and rewards of menopause together. Talk about a cause for celebration! What a gift!
Yes, we hold our female friendships ever dear. They are one more glorious reason to celebrate the rich rewards of life on the far side of fifty.