Friends and Resolutions
New Year’s Resolutions seldom work for me—I never keep to the diet, stay off chocolate (okay, that wasn’t really a resolution) or stick with the exercise. So this year, instead of making resolutions, I am counting my blessings, many of which are “girlfriends.” Not just one or two best friends, but a “passel” of friends.
I grew up in a little farming community where everyone seemed like family. I went through twelve years of school with three special girlfriends. Yolanda’s mother was a schoolteacher and my mother her “keeper,” so we literally shared a crib together. Gaylen’s parents ran the little country store and neither of us remember a time when we didn’t know each other. Mary, whose parents knew my parents before we were born, rounded out our “fabulous foursome” of lifelong friends.
One of the fun things we used to do was to get on the phone together—all four of us. We were on “party lines,” which means several families shared the same phone line. Two of us were on one and two on another. After school, one person would make a designated call then we would all pick up and get on the phone together. We did conference calls before anyone had heard of them. Today, we stay connected by e-mail and school reunions.
Bobbye joined my band of friends when she moved to our little community as a sophomore in high school. She and I were permitted to double date at the age of fifteen, only because both our mothers trusted Jimmy—her boyfriend and my brother! Bobbye and I still keep in touch through daily e-mails and even manage to meet for lunch every few months.
Other friends joined my life along the way and each holds a special place in my heart. Phyllis taught me how to face a tragedy, coming along side me when my middle son died unexpectedly. She had traveled that road ahead of me and knew the pain I felt. She loved me with words, hugs, tears, even laughter, and helped me learn to live again.
Cheryl welcomed me as a “sister” when I moved to a town where I knew absolutely no one. My friend, Cheri, spent the night setting up a prayer chain when my youngest son was born and doctors were not certain if he would survive. When my little boy with Down syndrome was born and no one knew what to do or say, Kathy made a special trip to my hospital room to tell me what a beautiful baby I had. I will love these ladies forever for their acts of love.
When I went through clinical depression and was plagued by panic attacks, a “host” of friends from my church brought food to my family and sat with me during that dark time. They even had a friend “on call” in the weeks that followed in case I needed help at home.
When our adopted daughter rebelled as a teenager and began running away, Glenda took time away from her work to care for my young son each time I was required in court. She never judged me and never tired of hearing my problems.
And, oh my goodness, what would I have done without my “A” Team friends? Every child with special needs should have advocates as tender and caring as Pam and Mary Lou. And every woman should have such a crazy duo as these two, who threw me a party and made me “Queen for a Day”—faux fur, crown and scepter—when my first book was published.
But my list would not be complete without Marqueeta, my shopping pal and prayer partner, Margolyn, my writing cohort and encourager, along with Dotti and Diane, “moms-who-know-what-my-life-is-like” and have shared my journey and my tears.
My “blessing box” is filled with “girlfriends,” many whose names are not mentioned on this page. And this year, I expect to add a few more. So perhaps I have a New Year’s Resolution after all—finding another special friend.