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The Gift of Girlfriends

There were 11 of us yesterday, one was sick...I missed her, just as I would have missed any one of these girls if they had not been able to come to my Annual Girlfriends Christmas Tea...These girls are my life line.  They are long standing...and they know my history and still they comes, year after year.   It is the one day that we take pause, during this busy season, and just sit and catch up.  All leave with a full belly, having eaten to many calorie laden sweets but we also all leave the table, once again, re-newed in our love for each other.

It's a mixed group of that I have picked up along the road of life.  One was my maid of honor 45 years ago, the longest standing was my friend way back in high school...I drove the school bus in town for many years with another one, and some I met through my kids playing sports..the thing they all have in common though is their longevity. They are my sisters of life. The sisters I never had growing up and we are fierce in our protection and love of each other...Good times, bad times, sad times, crazy least one of these girls is by my side..  Two are nurses so I always seat them, one on my left and one on my right,...I like to cover myself as best I can.   Through thick or thin and fluffy...they listen to each other and give what help they can...usually while eating..LOl...I love that about us.   Then we usually "wine" a bit and that clears our head and our problems.

I can't imagine how people get through life without friends.  For me, after so many years with these girls, most often I don't even have to speak...they know when I need a lift, a shopping trip and they show up...some need to called once in awhile though...Holly..

Each day we go out into the world and people see us and make judgments...they know nothing of the road we have walked..the pain we all have had or the struggles that come with aging..they see what they want.  Not so with my "girls"..every one of them has walked with me..some for 50 years, they have seen the struggles, hugged away tears, laughed with me until we peed our pants...(many times). They have traveled with me through fat, fluffy and finally healthy and not once have they ever been critical or jealous...These girls are my life line to living a full and amazing life..these girls are my "it takes a village"...I shutter to think where I would have landed if each one had not come along to lift me up.

As I write this they all come to mind and so many more really...these woman are my family...I don't care about their DNA and they don't care about mine...what we do care about is each other.  They come to my table each year, with good cheer, humor, hugs and so much love...for me and now for each other..I wish that my table were big enough though to welcome all the woman who have touched my life...especially those who I have met and now enjoy through the internet...Some of you are so special...I have a Cowgirl Heart Sister, I have an English Sister..I love a young girl in Chicago...I met a flickr friend here and now we see each other often...and Oh, my special friend Kim...we have not met yet...but we will, and maybe someday I'll take a walk in the woods with G, and meet on the beach again with my Colorful friend...and I even belong to the "Groupies"now. All of  you inspire me.   So know, that anytime, my table is open to all of you.  My friends of long standing will push aside their chairs and make room for you at the table. That's the kind of people they are.  

So if time gets the best of you this Christmas season...make yourself a lovely cup of tea, use the good china, have a sweet and take a moment to think of all those who have touched your life in Friendship...I bet it you did your list would be longer than Santa's...

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 
― Maya Angelou

“Sometimes I need
only to stand
wherever I am 
to be blessed.” 
― Mary Oliver



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Reader Comments (10)

Cheryl, my friend, this is the most beautiful piece I have ever read about friends! This needs to be published somehow! You are truly blessed. Thank you for sharing on your blog today. The b/w photo is perfect, and reminds me of gatherings so many years ago for a luncheon party. Such a "girly" thing to do. My internet friends are a blessing to me! Lovely!!

December 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeverly

All I have to say is you better have mentioned me first. Laughing out loud. Love you! xo

December 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCowgirl Heart Sister

Beautifully written, Cheryl. You are blessed to have such special, life-long friends.
You are truly the meaning of a perfect friend.
Blessings to you. I'll be back for another cup of tea!

December 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAntoinette

What a beautiful, inspiring and heartfelt reflection on women's friendship. One thing I know from getting to this age is that you don't keep friends for as long as you do -- which is really long -- without knowing how to BE and wonderful friend yourself. I've been fortunate to experience some of that over the last year online and though we've never met, from your photography and writing, I have learned just what a special, caring, giving and fun person you are! I love the fact that you have an annual girlfriends Christmas tea and that you've honoured your longtime friends with this beautiful image and this amazing post.

December 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSherry G.

Beautiful Cheryl, so lovely that you get to meet and catch up friends are the best..

December 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterViv

What a blessing these friends are in your life. Either near or far we all make connections and relish our time together. I would love someday to be surrounded physically by so many friends. We get out of life what we put into it. Blessings to you Cheryl during this Holiday season.

December 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

This is lovely & brought a wee tear to my eye. You are a special lady, a gatherer who draws people in & brings them together. I have another friend like this but I think you are both a special, rare breed. Not everyone can be a gatherer but everyone can be a friend & I'm glad I'm yours & you're mine :-) x

December 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGwen

Just love this. Always love coming for a visit! Merry Christmas!

December 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Foster

With all my heart.....I love you too, my friend.

December 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHolly

Thank you all for stopping by and visiting with me and my Girlfriends…so many new girlfriends made this year from my Groupie pals…welcome aboard and if your ever in the area…stop in for a cup of tea and conversation…What fun that would be...

December 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercheryl c.

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