Wine is proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.
— Benjamin Franklin
Be there with, and for, an old or new girlfriend (s). Embrace and appreciate their humor, loyalty and all they do to make life more enjoyable.
You might be pondering how the quotes in this post relate, but worry not, by the end of this journal, you will be thrilled by how much sense they make – so thrilled, in fact, that you will feel inspired to write down a particular celebration in your calendar. So get cozy, grab a cool drink and read on:
Back in the 80’s, the decade of voluminous fried hair and shoulder pads, I married my husband Trey and we moved to Los Angeles, the Land Where Cary Had No Friends. Well, Trey was my friend, but he entered his medical residency program at UCLA the day after we got there, and I saw him again four years later, the day before we moved back.
So there I was, in the City of Angels, seeking out a friend, any friend, anywhere and everywhere I went. Finally, there she was, in the long line in the women’s restroom at church. I was several people behind her, and I couldn’t help but hear her silky Southern drawl saying “just married,” “resident at UCLA” and “new in town.” Shameless, I cut in line (at church!), put my hand on her shoulder and proceeded to ask her if she’d be my best friend. And it was there and then that Andra and I became friends, and we clung together like glue as we adjusted to our new lives in L.A.
Soon we met Laurel, who was also a new bride in the big city, and the three of us journeyed together down the paths of new marriages, new jobs, new homes and plans for expanding our families. I loved these friends, and had always known that girlfriends were golden, but it wasn’t until one rainy day, in a yellow-hued hospital room, that I realized what it took to keep those bonds shining and purposeful.
One cold, wet L.A. afternoon, from a routine doctor visit I was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, with time only for a quick call to Trey. And bless his heart, the man knew by then how treasured my friends were to me. So because he was in a training program that didn’t allow him flexibility to be by my side continually, he knew where to go for help.
Pooh and Piglet walked home thoughtfully together in the golden evening, and for a long time, they were silent.
— The House at Pooh Corner
Later that day, surrounded by the yellow walls of that hospital room and hearing the rain pattering against the window, I began to awaken from my post-operative stupor. Bringing my eyes into focus to make sense of where I was, I looked around and saw that I had my own personal Tinker Bell – a life-sized fairy encircled in a warm light – rocking in a chair beside my bed. Her eyes were closed, and she had this peaceful smile on her face that I soon recognized as Laurel’s smile. In sweet silence, she was there.
She opened her eyes and let me know that she was commissioned by my crazy-wonderful husband for as long as I needed her, and as soon as I was able to string some words together to form a sentence, I expressed my deepest concern: “OMG, Laurel” (well, the 80’s version of that, which I don’t know anymore), “it seems that I have no control over what is happening inside of me right now, so prepare your delicate ears for some undignified sounds that might escape from my freaked-out body.” She continued to rock as my drunken words settled in, then let out a small giggle and said “Well then, if I get the urge, it’s good to know that I can just let it rip.”
It hurts to laugh when your belly has just been sliced open, then shut; but laugh I did, and as I continued to waken and sleep, waken and sleep, she sat quietly with me. And I would learn later that Andra stayed beside Trey while I was in surgery, and that she remained with him while the doctor showed him pictures of my innards and tried to help him make sense of it all. Additionally she had silently taken notes because she knew that later on I would need to hear the girl version of the doctor’s summary, several times retold, which she patiently and lovingly did. Girlfriends…I understood that day…golden.
Several years, children and colorful stories later, Laurel, Andra and I still remain close friends. When circumstances scattered us across the country and into our permanent homes, we knew what to do to stay connected. It was simple – we were there. When babies were born, we were there. When problems darken our days, we are still there. When milestones occur and we are given a chance to raise a glass to one another, we are there. Check out the Weekly Intention Guide for a quick ‘how-to’ for help scheduling in some important girlfriend time.
You too, beautiful iGniters, can “be there.” Like Pooh and Piglet, we are tremendously blessed to have this community of friends who commune “thoughtfully together” in both “golden” mornings and evenings. In the silence of just knowing we have each others’ support, we share mats, dreaded green garter bands, sun salutations, lake views, and adventurous moments where we leave our comfort zones. We are there for each other and I’m so very grateful for that. This Tuesday, we can raise a glass to the beauty of each other from 5:00 – 7:00 for happy hour, around iGniter Christie S’s pool. We will also have a speaker from the Mamma Jamma Ride there — another great opportunity to share and soar with your girlfriends. I hope to see you on Tuesday to joyfully celebrate our community together!
Now, continue sipping that cool drink while you watch these spirited communities (a little something for any “Manarchs” too) celebrating in this short video!