Sunday, April 23, 2006
Priceless friends

I've just returned from my first true "Girlfriend Get-away" weekend. My closest friends and I took Robin away overnight to a friend's mountain condo. Robin thought we were going to a special place for a Saturday afternoon extended lunch to celebrate her upcoming 50th birthday. Most of the rest of the group has already experienced this milestone. Robin had a surprise baby at age 39 so unlike the rest of the group her nest still has one in it who has yet to fly away. She has expressed to most of us how hard it is to see our lives at this stage when she's still in the middle of raising children. (Dont we often cling to what we have now, but also strain after what's just ahead? We so easily forget we can't grab the next thing unless we release our grip on what's in our hand now. Once released, we can't have back what was in our hand either.)

The five of us spent weeks planning all the details - how to cover for her while she was gone, line up a sub for Sunday School, get her asthma inhaler and contact solution; order a birthday cake, line up girl movies, enough makeup to make her presentable, buy new pjs to celebrate the weekend, fun lingerie to take home to her husband to make up for her weekend away, etc. Saturday morning we were finally off, a car full of giddy girls in older women's bodies. An hour into our drive Robin realized we'd "missed" the turnoff for the restaurant. Such fun to see the look on her face when she realized she'd been kidnapped for the weekend. Nancy, the last of our group of 6, was ready for us at her condo in the "mountains" of Pennsylvania.

We spent only 30 hours away, but managed to fit in 3 movies, ate the entire birthday cake, plus all the snacks we'd picked up from the Dollar Store (you know that wasnt health food!). Late into the night we sat in the hottub under the stars, enjoying this sharing of lives. I'm the only grandmother of the group (4 ahead so far!), one is a single mom recovering from a difficult divorce, most of us have grown children graduating from college this year, and Robin who has children out of college, in college, and a 10 year old.

We stayed up late into the night, piled up in bunk beds, talking in the dark as if we were all in our teens. Waking up this morning nobody even got up to deal with morning dailies, but rather started right in on fun/deep/serious/hysterical conversation that only 6 women can have. Breakfast was provided by the most domestic in our group (the single mom!). As we sat down to share the meal, Robin quickly volunteered to pray. To sit at this table, all of us with bed hair and bags under our eyes, and hear Robin's voice break over her thankfulness for God's gift of GOOD friends was a gift to us all.

I sat and looked at this group of women - each of us with challenges, hurts, joys, concerns, weight issues, financial strains. Our differences faded this weekend, and we celebrated the sameness of our lives - and the fact that God had put us together - women who will be friends for life. I found myself praying God would provide friends like these for my daughters and daughter-in-law. Priceless friends who will be there to laugh, cry, share, and support the daily journey.


  posted at 9:27 PM

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    Girl Raised in the South

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