Women Friends are Priceless—and Vital

Barb Here

Those Special Friends Who’ve Helped us Become the Women We Are Now

Cathy and Kathy with me at Audubon’s Corkscrew Sanctuary

Those special friends—those pre-boobs “Friends-for-Life” and those post-boobs “Forever-Friends”. Most of us have one or two or, if we’re really fortunate more women who have remained our friends through thick and thicker (or thin and thinner); through training bras and losing our virginity; through weddings and marriages (not the same thing); through kids and menopause; through elderly parents, funerals, and empty nests.

Those friends who may not have been physically in our corner for each of these events but who have never once left our corner and who have supported us always (even when they had to tell us we were wrong). Those special friends who’ve helped us become the women we are now—and those women we have helped in the same way—are priceless.

For me, they’re as necessary as breath, wine, and chocolate. (OK, I jest a bit—but just a bit.)

This is Not a First-World Phenomenon. This is Life.

Lynnelle and Rhoda off to an adventure in Austin

This week, all over the world, women gathered in the company of one or more of those special friends and laughed, cried, shared stories, revealed secrets, walked, shopped, cooked, cleaned, or campaigned together. This week, women collapsed in the arms of their Friend-for-Life as they coped with devastating news and this week, women cared for a toddler as their Forever-Friend nursed her newborn. This week, women met to celebrate huge victories and small blessings and this week, women served coffee, heated casseroles, and stayed to clean the kitchen after the last soft condolence was uttered at the door. It’s what we do.

If one counts wealth in terms of friendship, then I am one of the richest of women and I am so thankful for that. I’ve just returned from spending four days with my Pre-Boobs-Friend-for-Life, Kathy (over 50 years of friendship) and with our Post-Boobs-Forever-Friend, Cathy (whom Kathy and I met over 30 years ago in our freshman triple at UMO). Meanwhile, two other Forever-Friends, Lynnelle and Rhoda, are spending time together in Texas where I am absolutely positive that wine and chocolate have been consumed. How positive am I? They called last night to have a virtual “Surge Sisters” meeting and I had to put them on hold to gather wine and chocolate before we started. Again, priceless.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Wine and chocolate seem to be a factor with all of my friends. Does that mean it’s my fault?
  • Living near each other is not required.
  • Living thousands of miles apart means that we have missed significant moments, which means there is always something new to share.
  • Some of those new things will have occurred last week, others in the last century.
  • True friends support your life choices and celebrate your joys and accomplishments—even if they are not the choices or accomplishments they imagined for you.
  • Laughter is as therapeutic as crying. Acting silly together is a bonus. Supporting each other is not only mandatory but automatic and unconditional.

Here’s what I wish:

  • That I could spend more days like this with every blessed one of my forever-friends friends-for-life—at least every year or two.
  • That I had a bit more sleep this weekend.
  • That wine and chocolate were neither habit-forming nor calorie-laden.
  • That every woman has at least one friend as loving, strong, smart, and funny as the women—including those not mentioned here—who love me and whom I love in return.
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