For me, the role of a girlfriend changed as I aged. In grade school it was anybody of the same sex that I did something with. In high school it changed to a girl I could share my secrets with and they wouldn’t tell. As a young mother it was any other young mother that was learning along with her children how to get on with life. It makes me shake my head when I think about how we thought we knew how to tame the world. Oh how naïve we were. (Good thing we didn’t know it.)
Now I’m a grandmother and one of my best girlfriends is my adult daughter. If she weren’t so busy we would do more things together. One of my childhood pals lives near by and we enjoy a long lunch every couple of weeks. We know each other’s life story; we listen intently to each others troubles and triumphs. I laugh a lot when I am with her. I have a few ladies that I get together with to sew. They are my quilting girlfriends. My acupuncturist and her sister are also my girlfriends. We celebrate our birthdays together. I have one of those special friends in another state who I might not see for two years, and we can pick up a conversation right where we left it the last time we saw each other. One aspect of girlfriends that dismays me is when you become close with a work mate, then change jobs and loose touch with them. I guess they were really an a acquaintance.
I recently wrote about something my mother’s best friend did for her when she was sick with cancer. I’ll share it with you.
One sunny day, Mom was in her recliner snoozing when Doris arrived. She said, “Come on Beck, we’re going for ice cream.” Mom gave her a sad look and didn’t move. “I’m not dressed.” Doris went to the coat closet, got out Mom’s light, long rain coat and then stood by her chair. I don’t think Mom had been dressed, or outside in more than a week. It was getting towards the end. Mom finally got up, Doris helped her to the bathroom, put her coat on her and walked her out to the car, maybe a jeep at that point. They came back about an hour later. Mom walked herself into the house, had color in her cheeks, and was smiling. That was the kind of friend Doris was. Helping to make good things happen, even though she was now suffering with rheumatoid arthritis.
That’s what a girlfriend does, lifts up her friend no matter how young or old, in good times and in the unhealthy. I’m a lucky lady to have the girlfriends I do. We talk about things: current events, life, dreams, other relationships, our families. Lots of times a girlfriend can help me see a situation in a different light; I’m thankful for that.