I started thinking about girlfriends I've had over my lifetime, girlfriends that I never see anymore, girlfriends I never hear from anymore, girlfriends I never see or hear from at Christmas anymore, girlfriends who are probably grandmothers like me now...
It's true how, as you grow older, the seasons fly by at a rate that seems to surpass the speed of light. It seems like only yesterday that I was maid of honour to Di on her wedding day in October of 1970. She moved away to Winnipeg, then to Red Deer, and finally to Fredericton and the friendship has dwindled away to the occasional email.
It doesn't seem that long ago that another friend shared the process of first pregnancies with me through the summer of 1976. We both had daughters and shared the first few years of their lives together. Now I don't even know where she lives.
Then Margaret came into my life. She lived behind me across the fence and had three children roughly the same ages as my two. What a wonderful woman she was as she took care of my two when I was called in to substitute teach. She was a second mother to my little girls until I realised that I wanted to be the only mother they had, so quit working altogether. We kept in touch even when she moved to another community, but the friendship gradually faded away.
Colleen accepted me into her home when another acquaintance invited me to their weekly Bible study. After lots of coffee visits, we became quite close, and she and her husband were the ones I called when my husband was found dead early one August morning in 1992. Our children are all grown up now and her life revolves around her husband and other activities.
One friend named Linda came into my life as a result of our both becoming single again and we hit it off. But over the years, I found her to be controling, obsessive, and paranoid. Although I felt sorry for her and her circumstances, she was dragging me down, so I finally stopped all contact.
Another Linda was a co-worker and we'd make dinner for each other once in a while and share stories about our kids and our past marriages. When I moved on to go back to teaching, we stopped seeing each other so often.
My friend Kathy (with a K) is the first of my friends to die. That sounds so blunt - maybe I should say she "passed away" or "was called home to the Lord." But cancer ate away at her for almost 20 years and that insidious disease won the battle.
It's not as if I stopped liking these women or that they stopped liking me. I think our lives change and evolve as our circumstances change. We make friends according to what's going on in our lives at the time. When we're newly married, we socialize with other newly marrieds. When we have children, our lives revolve around our children and so we meet other parents who are going through similar circumstances. School, soccer practise, dance recitals, skating and swimming lessons find parents sitting in the stands or on the sidelines and we get to talking.
Friendships come and go as our children grow, and we move along with them until one day they've moved along right out of the house. We become grandparents and talk to others about the grandchildren. Gone are the Jane Fonda days of "feel the burn!" We have to find new activities that suit our aging bodies, activities like gentle fit, water aerobics, and walking.
Tomorrow my grandchildren will be getting married and having their own children. I must admit that I look forward to that time and pray God that I experience it in relatively good health, both in body and mind.
And then in light speed, I'll see that golden glow and my parents, my husband, Kathy, and others will welcome me to my new home.
And a new life will begin.
Life speed............with Cathy, Josie, Jane, Suzanne, Eileen, Irene, Joan, 2 Wendys, 3 Marions, Ruth, and all you blogger girlfriends that I hereby dub "Blogette Buddies."