It was a Thursday Morning. The first Thursday of the New Year. That meant that I would be meeting up with one of my besties for coffee. We made a pact last year to meet up once a week at the coffee shop that sits midway between her suburb and mine. Thursday mornings, that was the day we agreed upon. They would be our day!! Regardless of weather. Regardless of schedules. And, we stuck to our deal. Last year we met every single Thursday except for one or two. The only thing that keeps us away from our sacred get-together is if one of us is out-of-town. That’s a reasonable excuse.
She always arrives before I do. And, there is usually an empty “to go” cup waiting for me. Her treat. We buy the “to go” cups because this particular spot lets you refill your java as many times as you’d like and then take one with you *to go* if you’d like. And we do.
I have tried endlessly, unsuccessfully, to beat her to our spot so that I can treat her for coffee just once. But every week, regardless of how early I get ready in the morning and rush out the door, she is sitting there already. Waiting. Enthusiastically.
Our first Thursday of the new year!! I was ready to get back on track with a normal routine. I was burned out on the holidays and all of the socializing that comes along with the hectic, jolly season. I was ready to get back into my regular routine. I was happy to be up and out the door early and on my way to meet up with my sweet friend. We were going to discuss our new Yoga class we were enrolled in on Saturday mornings!! Hurray!!
As I pulled into the parking lot I noticed her car right away. Of courseeee she would be there before me! I walked in and turned my attention to one of the two spots that we usually sit in. And, there she was. Big, bright reddish bouffant, smiling eyes and a huge grin. *over here!!* She always stands up when she spots me walking in and waves her arm enthusiastically back and forth – as If I would not be able to find her unless she stood up and signaled me. Ohhh, my dear, sweet friend must not be aware that I can see her big, beautiful bouffant over the top of the booth from across the room whether or not she stands up to greet me.
I made a beeline for the booth and sat down. She had papers and a schedule in front of her and was ready to dive into the details of our new Yoga class. I scooted into the booth across from her and looked at the coffee and water sitting in front of me. She had put a slice of lemon in my water. Everybody knows that lemons help to flush out all the millions of calories and impurities that we tend to shove into our bodies over the holidays. Every little bit counts!! And, if we can lose weight just by drinking lemon water, bring it on!!
We were all settled in and ready to get to the gabbing. She looked up at me and immediately knew that something was a little off. Women do that. We have a special, ingrained sense of female esp. We can tell when one of our girlfriends are upset about something. She asked me what was wrong and I burst into tears. I had been thinking about my Mom on the way to the coffee shop. About how desperately I missed her. My heart-felt such a heavy weight that morning. I knew that this time of year was a trigger. The anniversary – the first anniversary of her passing was just around the corner. It was all too much to bear.
My bestie popped up and went to get some makeshift Kleenex (scratchy paper napkins). She handed them to me and scooted back in the booth. I took them and held them up to my face. I was covering my face with them and blubbering. I was hiding behind them. She told me to put them down. That she knew I was back there behind the scratchy napkin crying. I thought to myself, that comment was something my Mom would have laughed about. And as I thought about my Mom laughing at a comment like that, I began to laugh, myself. I laughed for a minute and then cried some more. It was the ugly cry where your face is all skewed up. But then I thought about my friend telling me that she knew I was behind the napkin and my emotions turned into a half laugh half cry. I lowered my scratchy shield an inch and looked at her through watery, drowned eyes from over the top. She didn’t seem to be phased that I was making a scene. So I chanced lowering the napkin all the way down and looked her straight in the eye. And, went on to unload my soul to her. Like I had so many times in the past year. She sat there and listened as I unloaded my grieving sorrow to her. She had all the right things to say. All the while, reaching across the table and holding my hand. And after about 10- 15 minutes, I felt so much better. I pulled myself together, we smiled at each other. It had passed. Unloading on her was like a weight being lifted off my shoulders. So, we went on to discuss how we were going to become Yoga Guru’s in 2015. (Lord help us! )
I have always been aware of the fact that women need women in their lives. Or, maybe it’s just me. But I don’t think so. I really do believe that women need women. For socializing. For nurturing. For talking with. We are strong and intelligent and loyal to each other. We relate to one another and usually think along the same wavelengths. I’m constantly amazed by my friends who seem to know when I need them. And, we are complicated. Men, not so much. Men are simple. They can get along with a tv remote and a bag of snacks as their sidekicks. I’m not sure if I envy that or not. I just know that I have some amazing women in my life. I have been blessed with an abundance of besties. All good women to their core.
Our Thursdays have been a special blessing to me. This past year would have been overwhelming without my girlfriends in my life. I treasure each and every one of them. And, I know just how blessed I am to have the company of so many amazing women on a day-to-day basis in my life.
My Mom was an amazing woman herself. I miss her SO much. I think about her everyday. I will never stop missing her or feeling her void. But with a little help from my girlfriends from time to time, I learn to smile over the memories I have rather than dwell on the pain.