I first met KELLY in the fall of 1976. Even though we are nearly the same age, she had somehow managed to be one year ahead of me in school, the smart girl that she is! I was beginning my freshman year in college. I was going through sorority rush without a clue about what I was doing. You see, my family had no sisterhood "legacies" to speak of. It was here at this medium-sized university, TTU, in Cookeville, Tennessee that I first met Kelly. Thankfully, Kelly and the rest of her ADPi sisters decided that I was a good fit for their group, and so began a story of friendship, of nine friends, in total, that has lasted a lifetime.
My dear friend, Kelly and I power-walked 6 miles in the North Georgia woods last Saturday.
We both are now 50 something woman who love to stay fit and we never lack for subjects to cover when we are together. We have celebrated marriages together, as we were in each other's weddings in 1982. Our wedding took place on Kelly's 24th birthday! We have attended baby showers for one another. We have watched our children grow into young men and women. We surprised each other in 2008 as we reached our 5oth birthdays! We have appreciated seeing our husbands develop a lifelong friendship. Yes, Kelly and I have reveled in a rich friendship, for sure.
We both love to cook and entertain, so we have doled out countless recipes via phone, letters, and email. We have taken pleasure in a friendship and camaraderie with seven other women for more than 30 years, a group you will read more about tomorrow!
One thing I have respected so much in my friend, Kelly is the way she has worked diligently in her nursing career for many years. Indeed, two of my FFs, Forever Friends from high school, Mary and Cindy have done the same in this identical profession. I have great respect for all that I know that work in this field, because it truly takes a unique individual to take care of and nurture the ill in our world. Kelly has worked in a variety of jobs, from a maternity nurse to a high school school nurse who counsels young pregnant teens. When the nine of us from TTU, gather for our annual reunion, Kelly always has the best stories from her experiences in caring for others.
As we walked on Saturday, Kelly told me about a friend of hers who is a 50 something woman. This friend declared to Kelly that she does not quite know what to do with herself, as her children have left and she is no longer taking care of them. This 50 something woman has not worked outside of the home for more than 20 years. And now, she is unsure of which direction to go in her life.
A multitude of my 50 something friends, like Kelly, still work countless hours outside of their homes. Many, like Kelly, are passionate about making a difference in their workplace. My FF, Jan, is another great example as she is contributing to her household by working with young disabled children. Wherever a 50 something woman might find herself, be it, full or part-time employment, volunteerism, caring for senior adults or grandchildren, enjoying a favorite sport, owning a business for the very first time, I trust that each of us will look after ourselves for a change...Like Kelly and me, put yourself on the list for that power-walk with a cherished friend...and let someone else make the pancakes just as we did this past Saturday morning.