My grandma used to tell me the best stories about her friends. I would sit in my grandpa’s rocking chair and listen to the phone ring. My grandmother would say hello and start laughing before she even got her first word out. I rocked back and forth and sipped my coffee as I watched her get into her groove of pacing the kitchen floor, twirling a piece of her white hair, and grinning from ear to ear as she caught up with Alice. If it wasn’t Alice calling it might have been her friends from the Cape or the group of women she used to work with at the hospital that coined themselves “The Get Gown Girls”. I never had girlfriends like that growing up but I knew when I grew up I wanted girlfriends just like my grandma’s.
I can tell you with complete confidence that I have the best girlfriends. Hands down. I couldn’t have picked these women if I’d tried. They came into my life in all different ways with all different stories but man, did I get lucky. Let me tell you about Theresa, Marguerite, Jessica, Katie, Tanya, Gloria and Michelle. They love me with a fierce kind of love. A love that goes beyond all emotions and expectations. They look out for me, care for me and walk alongside me day in and day out. Sometimes I feel unworthy of their love.
I remember being in high school and seeing other girls have such a tight friendship that I yearned to be included. The bond these teenagers had was something I so badly wanted to be a part of but never seemed to break into. This exclusion led to feelings of not being funny enough, pretty enough, smart enough and obviously, popular enough to be invited into their clique. I know now that these girls had something I didn’t; they had found their tribe of women. Not having a group of girls to grow up alongside of really did a number on my self-esteem. I’m certain that if I’d had a Theresa, Marguerite, Jessica, Katie, Tanya, Gloria or Michelle in my life at that time, I would have had a much easier time in high school. We all grow and change over the years as we should but as different as these friends of mine are from each other…they all have one thing in common; love. And after all, isn’t love really what we’re after?
I’d be remiss to not see the similarities in myself and my grandmother as I pick up the phone and start chatting with Theresa. I too, pace around the kitchen not twirling my white hair – although some day that will be me – but for now, I make playdough creatures with my daughter and almost always have a cup of coffee next to me especially when I’m visiting with Theresa. It’s our thing. I don’t call my group of girlfriends “The Get-Down Girls” but I do call them my tribe. I’m almost certain I get the same huge grin on my face when I’m talking with these girls as my grandma does when she’s talking with Alice.
I hang on to these friends like they are the rarest women in the world because they are. I try to never take them for granted and I always remind myself that our friendship is a two-way street and my priority is to make room for them and their lives. I hit the jackpot with these friends of mine and feel like the richest girl in the world because of it.