One of the (few) great things about getting older is that, if you’re lucky, you also see the large amount of years your friendships have endured. When it comes to my closest friends, who I all met in my 20s and 30s, it seems as if there was never a time they weren’t in my life. They knew me when my mom was alive and when I was fully sighted. They sustained me in my darkest hours, literally and figuratively, and maybe more importantly, continue to be sources of strength and laughter as I face each day with very little vision and live without one of my closest friends who happened to be the woman who gave birth to me.
It is the days after the tragedy when the flowers have died and the cards stop arriving and food is no longer dropped off until your fridge and freezer are packed. It’s the weeks after the life-changing event when you hear yourself laugh again, usually because one of these steadfast women has said something funny. It’s the months after when the rest of the world doesn’t see the hole in your heart or the sheer grit it still takes you everyday to do the simplest things but these ladies do. It’s the years later when you continue to need to be driven to doctors’ visits or the higher priority hair appointment or need to Christmas shop for your husband.
They say you really find out who your friends are when the going gets tough and I have found this to be so true. And as we approach the end of another calendar year and upcoming birthdays, I don’t quite mind the passage of time when it reflects the life shared by myself and these incredible women. I have watched their children grow up into amazing adults and seen them bury their parents. I have witnessed the grace they have shown during unimaginable trials. I have been a spectator to their great successes including marathons and master’s degrees.
Time is marching on, so much faster than I had ever imagined it could. But each passing day with my friends is a day of love, partnership, commitment, sharing, trust, loyalty, laughter and history. If I combine all the years, it would show a number equal to several lifetimes. Is getting up there in age a pleasure? No way, what hurts today? But seeing the years of sisterhood accumulate is one of the greatest joys of my life.