My intent was to tell you a little about it and what they mean to me. The only problem, one paragraph isn't enough to do a lifetime of friendship justice. Therefore, one paragraph might not leave you with the impression about how wonderful these ladies are to me.
So this is it. The end of my Girlfriend series and it wasn't easy. :) As I wrote these stories, I was able to reflect a little bit of knowledge of myself.
Cherry: I met Cherry later in life, after I had kids. My son and her son were childhood friends…I think they met in 2nd or 3rd grade. However, I hadn’t met Cherry until the boys were in 6th grade and it was a rocky start, in my opinion. It started with my son asking to sleep over at his friend’s house and I explained to Cherry, over the phone, that my husband and I didn’t feel .comfortable letting our son sleep over at people homes whom we had not met yet. Cherry promptly told me that I needed to get over that and then shared her unsolicited advice on why. At that time, I had never been lectured on how to raise my son and yet by some stranger. I was not impressed.
Eventually, I had the opportunity to meet Cherry in person. She is a large, proud, black woman and I will admit that I was probably slightly intimidated but I was going to stand my grounds. After that first meeting I think we understood each other better and I walked away feeling like I admired this woman’s strength and freedom to speak her mind at any time and any cost; and believe me, she did. Often. But you know what? EVERY thing that she said to me was something that I needed to hear, whether I liked it or not. Most of all, it was real, honest to good advice that was only meant to be in my best interest. Over the years, Cherry and I would sit down, with a bottle of wine or a couple of Forties and just hang out. Sometimes, the kids would hang out while we "hung out". I miss those moments and it is only now that I recognize the importance she held in my life. Cherry represents that outspoken Aunt role model that I missed growing up and miss as an adult.
Lorna: I was at an event that I was asked to be part of and while I was there, I saw this woman working the crowd and being very friendly while trying to make all of the strangers among themselves feel relaxed and social, and as I watched this woman work her magic, I suddenly wanted to meet this lady and become friends with her. She possessed a smooth relatable quality that I wish I had. Her name was Lorna. Lorna was a wife of three kids; I was a wife with three kids. Lorna referred to herself as a pudgy housewife; I referred to myself as a pudgy housewife; except she wasn’t. She was very pretty and very girl-next-door like and as we built our long distance friendship; we realized that we were kindred spirits that might as well been twins separated at birth. We liked a lot of the same things, thought the same things at the same time, got each other quirky humor and were pretty much in the same GPS coordinates of life. Felt like soul mates. However, over a long period of time it seemed that our burgeoning differences were getting in the way of our similarities. Odd comments made here and there were taking on a hurtful tinge and I we began adding a little distance in our friendship. I still cherish her but we don’t talk much anymore and sadly, maybe that’s okay. But in the big picture; Lorna represented a time in my life that being a housewife, trying to raise the kids the best we could, be the best supportive wives we could be really was all that mattered in life and I felt really good and happy being that person and that there was someone else out there who was just like me.
Jade: The last girlfriend I will talk about in this Girlfriend series is a woman by the name of Jade. Now this woman is another person I've met that is so much more than one could write about. I think people often overlook and take her for granted but she is a strong inner force to be recon with and should not be underestimated.
I met Jade shortly after moving to a new state. I didn’t have any friends and for the first time since I could remember I was kind of having trouble breaking into groups of friends. Jade introduced herself to me at a writing meeting and we became associates through this program. It was later when we became "partners in crime"(if you will) that I got the chance to really get to know this woman. What I discovered about Jade is that what you see is what you get. She is as real on the surface as she is on the inside. She tells the truth when asked a question and pulls no punches when doing so. She has the amazing ability to say what she means and mean what she says with compassion. She’s had some hard knocks in life and I’m not sure if other women who have experienced the things she has can remain as positive about life as she does. While in the trenches with this woman, I’ve learned to be patient (not one of my virtues) and I learned that there is a class and decorum on handling every matter that is thrown my way. To date, I try to use her examples of dealing with tension filled situations fairly and up front. I thank Jade for still teaching this old woman some more things about life.