Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
V: Musings and Meanderings: I Wonder
I was thinking recently about the importance of friendship as I left a baby shower. We had such fun at the party; there were family and friends all together in one room, and the gregarious part of me enjoyed it all. Later that afternoon one of my co-workers and I visited another friend who was recuperating at home from a biopsy she had recently. I had a great time sharing a drink and meeting her family. I couldn't help but think how much fun heaven will be with fellowship that never ends and where there are no biopsies, or divorces or loss of any kind. I don't think heaven will be a boring place where people float around on clouds, playing harps--but I wonder - what will it be like? Will we have work to do, friends to visit?--My finite mind grapples with its limitations of understanding.
When life grabs me by the ankles and threatens to pull me under with defeat and despair, it is without fail my friends who I turn to. Believe me, the Lord hears my lamentations first, but I do believe that He provides us with treasured friends to help us cope with what life throws at us. When we are drowning in that sea of despair, it is our friends who throw us a lifeboat. It is they who I commiserated with over wayward children, they who offered wise counsel and advice and gifted me with their prayers.
See the photo below of my paternal great-grandmother Ada Cull Turner with her group of women friends. (She is in the front on the right side in the tiered dress). This photograph was probably taken sometime in the 1940's. I remember my mother telling me that my dad's grandmother had a circle of ladies she met with every week. Sometimes they played bridge or canasta. Often they would sew embroidery projects or do a spiritual study. But I suspect that they also commiserated over wayward children, offered wise counsel and advice and gifted each other with prayers.
Fast forward almost sixty years and see this photo of my group of friends at my friend Robbin's sons wedding last year.
Do you think that women today feel more freedom to share personal information with trusted friends? I wonder if there was more social stigma regarding personal problems that precluded openness and honesty with friends sixty years ago? A kind of sweeping the dirt under the rug and pretending everything was wonderful scenario? Maybe, but I don't think so. Today we struggle with substance abuse, divorce, and families alienated by technology, but our grandmothers faced childbirth fraught with many dangers, such as infants who often did not survive, epidemics that wiped out many family members.
My mother-in-law once told me that her parents had lost their first two children, a son age three and a two year old daughter in the same week. They died from dehydration during a flu epidemic. She said that her mother, could never speak of them without tears. A speaker at a women's retreat I attended told a similar story. Her mother had lost two children in one week from a flu epidemic, and was so ill herself that she could not attend their funerals. Her mother said that in the weeks that followed she numbly tried to tend her now quiet and empty home. One day as she stood at the kitchen sink looking out the window, she distinctly heard a voice say: "Kill yourself. You have nothing to live for". She discerned that it was the enemy of her soul, and she said that the evil presence was so real, that she turned and threw her dishtowel at it. Then she untied her apron and walked the block to her parent's house so she would not be alone. Without the support of friends and family, how did women hold onto their sanity and overcome despair?
I hate to end on a maudlin note, so I hope to encourage you with this: We are blessed who have trusted friends to share our lives with. Friendships enrich our lives and bring so much joy. Sharing the burdens of life with friends helps to make the unbearable, bearable. And finally, let me shout! If you are too busy to spend time with your friends and nurture these vital relationships, you are too busy!
Mid-sized city, Somewhere in the South!, United States
We are "C" and "V," two baby-boomers who have been through thick and thin--50+ years of best-friend togetherness.
C is a divorce attorney, separated from her husband of 40(!) years--at age 59 he ran off with a thirty-year-old-never-married-mother-of-two and has now fathered another--and we're not even divorced! A very hard time for C.
C has one grown son--no daughter-in-law or grandchildren yet! (Drat!)
V works in a community based instruction program in a public school, helping special-needs students learn life skills. Mother of three, grandmother of five!
For 50+ years we've laughed together, cried together, and we've learned a lot! We love, love, love writing and want to share with you! Please come share, too!
Check out our posts under the label "Stickhorses" for more, but suffice it to say that these cowgirls started their lives together riding stick horses. Stick horses have come to symbolize the power of dreams and imagination for C and V--besides, we love cowgirl spirit!
You and the mother of the man who done you wrong are going to raise chickens together? I love it. I hope you become international stars in the chicken-raising world, and when you (and his mother and your chickens) are famous, I hope he comes crawling back, pleading with you to take back his poor miserable, not-famous self. You go, girl!
Thank you, thank you, thank you! On to International Chicken Stardom!! C
YET ANOTHER STUPENDOUS COMMENT!
SimplyJoolz (see our blogroll for link) said these kind words about the travails of C:
I love this story -its like a well written novel. I can't wait until the part where C kicks the useless husband between his hanky and his small change pocket! Lol!
It's coming, Joolz! C
PS - thank you all for your comments. They so give me a lift--often just when I need it!
C's SINGLE AGAIN POWER
Below is a list of things I'm learning to do--wish I'd started years earlier! It feels so good to list my "Power Accomplishments" for you, and I'd love to hear about yours!
Replacing the back fireplace refractory panel. Who knew?
Jacking up the front porch with my new, red, hydraulic jack!!
Learning to shoot and getting my Conceal-and-Carry license! (Power rush!!)
Purchasing tires...all by myself!
Buying and installing (!) the lawn tractor battery! Again, not rocket science...
Putting a new end on a ruined looooong extension cord. One prong was missing, and we replaced the plug-in. (Who knew you could do this??) I feel so, well, powerful!
Cleaning Tractor Air Filter
Dealing with fire ants--boy, are those suckers tuff!
Gettin' that utility pole installed.
Ordering gravel (SB 2!)
Replacing hydraulic hoses
Learning about the lawn mower (engine stabilizer!).