By Rosie Preston
This week’s beautiful prose about womanhood brought my attention to the fact that during plague of staying in as much as I had to, it was a blessing because as I was forced into my own sabbatical. I had a pinched nerve, shingles and a terrible sinus infection. I lost my dear mother to the coronavirus. I’ve learned a lot this last year which started the day they closed down my mother’s nursing home. Six months later, my sisters watched through a window as my mother took her last breath. My dear mother, you are not forgotten. Your family still loves and misses you, every day! Thanks so much to my dear friend Kay McClendon who sent the following article to me.
A young wife sat on a porch on a hot and humid day, drinking iced tea while visiting with her mother. As they talked about life, about marriage and about the responsibilities of life and the obligations of adulthood, the mother clinked the ice cubes in her glass and turned a clear and 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 family, remember to go places with the girlfriends now and then. Do things with them and remember that girlfriends are not only your friends but your sisters, your daughters and other relatives.
“You’ll need other women. Women always do.”
The young woman thought to herself, “What a funny piece of advice. 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 will start is all I need to make my life worthwhile!”
But she listened to her mother, and the daughter kept in contact with her girlfriends and made more friends each year. As the years went by, one after another, the daughter gradually came to understand that her mom knew what she was talking about. As time and nature work their changes and mysteries upon a woman, girlfriends are the mainstay of her life. After almost 50 years of living in this world, here is what I’ve learned: time passes. Life happens, Distance separates. Children grow up. Love waxes and wanes. Hearts break. Careers end. Jobs come and go. Parent’s die, mates, too. 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 must walk that lonesome valley – and you’ll 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’ll break the rules and walk beside you or even come in and carry you out.
My mother, sister, sister-in-law, “sisters,” extended family and friends bless my life! The world would not be the same without out them, and neither would I. When we began this adventure called “womanhood,” we had no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that awaited us. Nor did we know how much we would need each other. Every day, we need each other still.
Pass this on to the women who help make your life work. I just did.
Keep smiling, Rosie
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