There's an e-mail that's been passed around for years that I periodically receive. It talks about the girlfriends we have in our lives and how they serve to help us through different stages and problems we encounter along life's journey. Every time this pops up in my e-mail, (often from my mom or one of those girlfriends), it always makes me smile, get a little teary-eyed and think of those women who have come to mean so much to me.
So, here's my list of women:
1) My mom. Yep, she's one special lady and I'm lucky enough to still have her in my life to talk, laugh and cry with. She taught me to read, to love books and wasn't the least surprised when I called long distance to say , "Hey, guess what? I'm writing a romance novel." Her reply? "I was wondering when you were going to do that." My mom has woo-woo moments...it's really kind of freaky. One of my kids will do something bad or dangerous or life altering...Poof Mom calls to say, "Is so-and-so okay? They've been on my mind all day." I won a writing contest. Poof, Mom calls and says, "Is something going on with your writing? It's been on my mind all week."
Mom is also a nurse. She's one of the two reasons I became one. The other was watching Hot-Lips Hoolihan pass instruments during surgery on M*A*S*H. I wanted to be that smart, confident, efficient and still compassionate person. The bonus? When the bad stuff hits the fan, I can always call and chat with mom about patients, doctors, ugly stuff. She understands. (Yep that's me, ready to go do surgery, just like Mom.)
2) My sister, Sam. Many of you may have several sisters, some none. But I was blessed with a younger sister who has the wickedest sense of humor and isn't afraid to say what she thinks. On top of that, she gets my mushy side and loves my kids. Cynical at times, irreverent at most, she was the person who taught my son to fish, play pranks on his sisters and sing to AC/DC songs as if every seven year old should know the lyrics! We've fought, laughed, cried and hugged through good times and bad.
3) My friend Marion. Hey Marion!! Waiving madly in case she's reading this. We met in first grade, but became really good friends in middle school. This was the friend I first talked about boys with. (I still talk about MEN with my friends, but she was the first.) She knew my crushes all through those teen years. We cruised High street together oogling all the OSU boys partying on a Friday or Saturday night. We learned to do all the cool dances in her bedroom before she forced me to watch horror movies. We've gone through weddings, babies, grandbabies, and family loss together. I know her strength, her heart...and we know all the blackmail stories about each other!
4) Nursing friends. This is a BIGGGGGGGG group, since I've been a nurse for nearly 30 years in 7 hospitals in 3 states. These are the women who've been in the trenches on busy nights, held me while I cried to release adrenaline in the cluster**** that just happened or the death of a baby. These are the women who get what it's like to eat chinese stirfry out of an emesis basin and think it's normal. They can laugh at raunchy jokes or find humor in the odd things humans will do to themselves at any given day or night. (Please ask me in a bar about the lady and the snuff!)
5) The Writer Foxes. These are my Texas writing friends. My CPs and those women who understand my passion for writing. These are those ladies I can get drunk with and they may not stop me from acting a fool...(Sandy Blair) but laugh with me later about it. They push me, teach me, support me. They are my sanity!
6) My daughters. Two totally different women I've been lucky to raise, know and love. I see in them the hope of the future. I've been priveledged to watch them find the loves of their lives. Artists and singers, they're talent always amazes me. They're book lovers, like their mama, grandmama, great grandmama! I couldn't be prouder of either of them!
7) And finally, The Romance Bandits. How does one say to 19 friends scattered all over the world in four countries and three continents how much they've come to mean to me? When we got together last July, it was like being with my sisters, only I didn't have to fight with any of them! We laughed like we'd been friends all our lives. These are friends I plan to have the rest of my life!
So, who are the girlfriends in your lives?