"Hoke"? "Yes, Miss Daisy". You're my best friend".--Driving Miss Daisy
“We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet.
Even longer,' Pooh answered.”
There are lots of movies about friends and friendships. Over the years, you form all different kinds of friendships. Some are lasting and some are only for a time.
In my "later years" I have been blessed to have been given a group of girlfriends like no other I've had in the rest of my life. In the 10 plus years we have been together, we have been through overwhelming life obstacles and enumerable joys. Over the years we have ebbed and flowed in our friendships like the tide at sea. Sometimes we were closer to shore than others. For a time we all grew apart and became busy with our lives seeing each other only at the grocery store or once a year at Christmas.
And then last year, a tragedy struck. Our dearest, Rosan, was diagnosed with colon cancer. I won't ever forget the day she told me. We hadn't seen each other in months when out of the blue she called and wanted to do lunch. I was elated and overjoyed to see her. Until she dropped the bomb.
Rosan is a strong woman. One of the strongest I have ever known. And she has had her share of health issues. But I sure wasn't expecting that! She was only 51 years old. It was at that moment, I decided; she decided; the "group" was getting back together. I hadn't seen Carla or Debbie, the other two in our group, for well over a year. However, at that moment, we all came together, and began bi-monthly meetings for lunch.
We decided it was time to stop the busyness of life and to remember what is really important in life.
Not long after at a monthly card game some of the girls still attended, one of the other attendees commented on the four of us being together again. I laughed and explained how we all were older now and faced with health issues and/or other health related issues of family members. I said how we how unofficially named ourselves The Geriatric Club. (Now mind you, the other women in my group don't like this name but me in my warped sense of humor think it's hilarious). Then she said we could be like Miss Daisy only it would be
driving the Geri's"! I love that. And for me it stuck.
That's not all that has stuck. We have. This past year, my bestie, Rosan, survived colon cancer and now has a clean bill of health. My other bestie Carla is still struggling with auto-immune diseases but she is a fighter and I know she's going to be okay. (She wasn't always a fighter but she is learning!) My third bestie, Deb, was diagnosed with severe Diabetes and is lucky to be here. Her daughter has also had severe health challenges but Deb is also a strong, strong woman and continues to persevere. Me- well you read about my mom (and if you didn't, read some older posts).
For those of you who are younger women and think once your children are grown, you will be home free--WRONG! The challenges change but they are still there.
What I do know is you need to remember to keep a close group of women with whom you can share and cry and laugh. I will NEVER let these wonderful women go again. We make a point of getting together now on a regular basis no matter how crazy life gets. We have learned--life is precious and can also be gone in a second.
I had lunch today with the Geri's. I forgot to take pictures or I would have posted them here. We laughed, swapped stories and ornaments. But since we are all over 50 , we also forgot to take pictures. Below is a pic of my Rosan and me about 5 or 6 years ago at a cookie exchange we hosted.
Friends--they are what's for lunch!!