This I Believe

Cheryl - Dallas, Texas
Entered on March 12, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65

For me, the power of my female friends is overwhelming.

I have met with the same group of about 10 women for over 13 years. It started out once a month, when our children were about 11 years old. As parenting became more challenging and sharing tips, information, and networking other parents (as our kids began dating), we found we had to meet every Friday morning. In the beginning we were brought together by our children, now we have been bonded by life experiences, good and bad. Many a time we have watched other tables move as our hoots of laughter bothered their breakfast. We don’t care, since we will be there next week…and the week after that. It’s also fun to frequent a restaurant where you can actually say “The usual”, and the waitress knows what you mean or just brings it when you sit down.

Whoever can, shows up, to a local cafe at about 8:45 AM. We could laugh for an hour, or we could cry together for an hour and a half. We have a history–we have a shorthand. We don’t have to fill in the gaps with small talk–we get right to the heart of the matter each Friday. We have laughed at our husbands’ reactions, and cried over cancer, divorce, and disappointment over our childrens’ life choices. We are at that stage in life where our hotness comes in flashes and none of us has time to hang out with people who bring us down. Unlike family, I chose these women to be in my life and they chose me. The support I feel is like a soft warm blanket and the endorphins I release when I am with them gives me energy that lasts all weekend. Driving to errands, I find myself laughing out loud at one of their stories, and at times, praying out loud for their comfort.

Each of us is facing parents dying, children leaving, and our health and eyesight declining, but we know we are all facing these things together. We have brought food to each other’s home, sat in hospital waiting rooms, oohed and aahed over children’s wedding photos and showed up the next Friday to do it again and again. It’s an amazing group of women that can say we have stayed together so long. Whenevery I am away from them for several Fridays–I find myself longing for their conversation and energy, they welcome me back the next week. Their friendship is like a shield against the ups and downs of life. With the force of the group, I feel stronger and know I can get through anything because they will be there for me.

Life is richer with my friends. Life is easier with my friends. Life is more fun with my friends.

I believe in the power of friends.