A young wife sat on a porch in Waycross, Georgia on a summer day,
drinking iced tea and visiting with her mother. As they talked about life,
about marriage, about the responsibilities and the obligations of adulthood,
the mother clinked the ice cubes in her glass thoughtfully and turned a
clear, sober glance upon her daughter.
"Don't forget your girlfriends," she advised, swirling the tea leaves 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'll love the
children you'll have, you are still going to need girlfriends. Remember to
go places with them now and then; Do things with them. And remember that
girlfriends" are not only your friends, but your sisters, your daughters,
and other relatives too. You'll need other women. Women always do."
'What a funny piece of advice.' the young women thought. 'Haven't I just
gotten married? Haven't I just joined the 'couple' world? I'm a married
woman, for goodness sake... A grown up... Not a young girl who needs
girlfriends! Surely my husband and the family we'll start, will be all I need
to make my life worthwhile!'
But she listened to her mother. She kept in contact with her girlfriends
and made more 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, girlfriends are the mainstay of her life.
After 50 years of living in this world, here is what I know about
Girlfriends bring you casseroles and scrub your bathroom when you need help.
Girlfriends keep your children and your secrets.
Girlfriends give advice when you ask for it. Sometimes you take it, sometimes you don't.
Girlfriends don't always tell you you're right, but they're usually honest.
Girlfriends still love you, even when they don't agree with your choices.
Girlfriends laugh with you and don't need canned jokes to start the laughter.
Girlfriends pull you out of jams.
Girlfriends help you get out of bad relationships.
Girlfriends help you look for a new apartment. Help you pack, then help you move.
Girlfriends will give a party for your son or daughter when they get married
or have a baby. (No matter in which order that happens!)
Girlfriends are there for you, in an instant, when the hard times come.
Girlfriends will drive through blizzards, rainstorms, hail, heat, and the
gloom of night to get to you when your hour of need is desperate.
Girlfriends will listen when you lose a job or a friend.
Girlfriends listen when your children break your heart.
Girlfriends listen when your parents' minds and bodies fail.
Girlfriends cry with you when someone you loved dies.
Girlfriends support you when the men in your life let you down.
Girlfriends help you pick up the pieces when men pack up and go.
Girlfriends rejoice at what makes you happy and are ready to go out and kill
what makes you unhappy.
Time passes. Life happens. Distance separates. Children grow up.
Marriages fail. Love waxes and wanes. Hearts break. Careers end. Jobs come
and go. Parents die. Colleagues forget favors. Men don't call when they say
they will... But girlfriends 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 for
yourself, your girlfriends 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 rule
and walk beside you... or come in and carry you out.
SO, to my girlfriends, cousins, and extended family....
YOU BLESS MY LIFE!
The world wouldn't be the same without all of you, and neither would I.
When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the
incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we would
need each other every day... And we need each other still.
Love to you all.