Sunrise, Sunset, Swiftly Fly the Years

It’s a beautiful moment when you see a sweet little girl blossom into a beautiful young woman.  This afternoon, I attended the bridal shower of my best friend’s daughter and realized that time passes much too quickly as we grow older.  Each day should be treasured for what it is. 

Twenty something years ago, I visited with my friend and her little girls at their new home.  Here we were, two best friends, reminiscing about our “younger days” and all the fun we had as single women and now, we were wives with families.  Did those labels define us?  Our previous conversations were filled with discussions of what we were wearing when we ventured into New York City on a Saturday evening, and now we were talking about our favorite dinner recipes or how to take care of a child’s fever. 

We used to be called “hot women” and now we were being labeled “wives” or “mothers.”  What happened?  Did we suddenly become “cold” now that we merged with a life partner?  Were we no longer attractive to the opposite sex just because we had a ring on our finger or pushed a stroller?

What happened is that we no longer defined ourselves as anything besides being part of someone else’s life; whether a spouse or a child.  It was our fault.  We soon learned that deep down inside it was perfectly fine to still think of ourselves as hot young women AND married women.  Our dreams, spirits and ambitions were the same back then and haven’t changed to this day.  The only difference now is that all the love we shared, tears we cried and challenges we conquered over the years now appear on our faces like stars in a summer sky.

My friend’s daughter has grown into an intelligent, lovely, caring young woman.  Her fiancé is kind-hearted, friendly, loving young man.  They complement each other, not define each other.  Each is perfectly able to stand on their own yet together they create a bond that is solid and genuine.  As individuals and as a couple, I wish them all the treasures one lifetime can hold and the strength to endure any adversities that may cross their paths.  “

“I think a man and a woman should choose each other for life, for the simple reason that a long life with all its accidents is barely enough time for a man and a woman to understand each other and. . . to understand – is to love.” ~ William Butler Yeats

“The spaces between your fingers were created so that another’s could fill them in.” ~ Anonymous ~

Faithful Friends Forever

It’s not too often nowadays you hear of people who were friends as little children, went through school, marriage, family and many years later, are still friends; I mean best friends.  But that’s how it’s been between my BFF and I.  We lived three houses down and one around the corner from each other in a nice little suburban town.  Only two years separated us; we were close as sisters, maybe even closer.  The experiences we have shared throughout our lives will forever leave an imprint on my heart and soul.

Our friendship began when I was five years old.  We played with dolls, rode bicycles and jumped rope together.  We even took sewing lessons together.  There were other neighborhood kids we were friendly with but throughout our early years, the two of us were inseparable.  We were the “girly girls” of our block; always into fashion and flirting.  One of the best times we had was signaling each other with flashlights from our bedroom windows through the trees at night because we could see each other’s rooms.  That was our special sign to say good night to each other.   

Then high school came and we didn’t see as much of each other then because we attended different schools.  Dee graduated two years before me and went on to college, however we still remained friends.  As a matter of fact, even though I was not quite of legal age, we used to spend many Friday and/or Saturday nights out at the clubs in NYC.  We were the “dancing queens” of the Copacabana, Regines and the Playboy Club!  We shared secrets about our loves and dreams and high hopes for the future.

In the late 70’s, we took our first trip to the West Coast together.  Although we previously spent winters skiing in upstate NY or Vermont and summers in the Catskills, this trip was our first major one as independent young women.  We flew to San Francisco, drove down to LA and then flew to Las Vegas for the last leg of our journey.   San Francisco was a blast: driving up and down Lombard Street like two fools – but what fun we had!  The trip to LA was brutal: a large portion of Route 1 along the coast was closed due to mud slides and we got detoured.  It took almost 13 hours for us to finally arrive in LA and our greeting was abysmal.  After we rested a bit, showered and dressed for dinner, we were approached by some jerks wondering if we were “working.”  We had no idea what they meant! Talk about naive.  We had been to clubs in NYC many times before and were never approached like that.  We soon discovered Downtown Hollywood was a dangerous place to take a casual stroll.  But our trip to Disneyland the following day was amazing!

Last stop – the Sahara in Las Vegas where we thought we were so cool because we sunbathed in the nude on our balcony!  OMG, we didn’t even look at each other, we were so modest!  I think back on that and LMAO.  We’ve certainly come a long way since then!  But that’s what’s so wonderful, charming and unique about our friendship.  All through the years, we’ve laughed, cried, argued and loved.  Both of us have been through many trials and tribulations over the past five decades (and I’m only 40! JK) and through it all, we remained loyal friends.

Friendships like our don’t happen too often; people separate after school, marry, have children, divorce, move away, get into ridiculous arguments and never reconcile, etc.  There is something to be said about a friendship that endures.  Friendships last longer than most marriages ~you manage to stay together through thick and thin, highs and lows, happiness and sorrow and everything in between.

Another blessing is that my friend’s mom is still with us.  My mom died suddenly when I was 19 and I more or less “adopted” Mrs. M (or she adopted me…).  We even took a trip to LA and Las Vegas together a couple of years ago, all three of us!  What a blast.  At 92, she still has a passion for the piano.  As a lifelong song-writer, she is proud to have had her music published.  Mrs. M was able to present it in LA when we were at ASCAP; everyone loved speaking with her.  She may be tiny but she’s still quite a pisol! 

 For the past several years, we’ve all gotten together to celebrate another milestone for this remarkable woman.  She has been an inspiration to me, not to mention she cracks some of the funniest jokes.  Now I know where her daughter gets her sense of humor from!

Both are so generous with their time and attention.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.  As a  matter of fact, we’re planning a 35th anniversary to the West Coast celebrating our first vacation, most likely in March or April of 2013.  We’re going to attempt to revisit places we enjoyed in San Francisco and LA then maybe continue to visit family in San Diego.  God willing, we’ll be able to fulfill our dream and enjoy our trip with as much fervor as we did when we were younger.  I’m eager to begin making preparations for this vacation, which is giving me more incentive to keep an eye on the scale.  I wouldn’t want to roll into California where we first sashayed, if you know what I mean!  If our most recent trip to the beach is any indication, I think we’ll be just fine in CA.  (She knows what I mean!)

Life is good; I’m very fortunate.  I hope my BFF and I continue our friendship for many more years.  This is a tough link to break.  I’d compare us to the characters of Lucy and Ethel, however not when they were singing that “Friendship” number; you know the one where they were tearing at each other’s gowns?  Yeah, that’s us – a little crazy, a little tame but always a lady.

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”
~ William Shakespeare