The following came to me in an email today from a girlfriend, Lynn, (pictured in blue on the far right)whom I have known since we were six years old.
Though it was a bit far, we could walk to each other's childhood homes.
Our birthdays are 1 day a part, so we have celebrated many times together.
Lynard (as in Skynard) is one of those friends that you can never get enough of, no matter what. We live a couple of hours from each other, in two different states and time zones, but we still manage to get together with our other six FFs (forever friends) several times a year. Usually, the main thing we do when we are together is laugh!
And you know...that laughter is good medicine! (see Proverbs 17:22)
Lynn and I both experienced the death of a parent, her Father and my Mother, within two days of each other, back in October 2006. We've shared plenty of memories and even more tears as we have remembered these loved ones. We've shared "quotes" from these parents who have passed. Two of my favorite come from each one: Lynn's Daddy used to say: "Honey, we have so much love , we can wallow in it!" and my Mama always said about staying up later than we probably should: "We can sleep when we're dead!"
Friends are Forever and I am glad this one was given to me back in September 1964!
And now the email message:
I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.
I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.
Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 &70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will.
I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.
They, too, will get old.
I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.
Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.
I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.
So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.
As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore.
I've even earned the right to be wrong..
So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever,
but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day(if I feel like it).
MAY OUR FRIENDSHIP NEVER COME APART ESPECIALLY WHEN IT'S STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART!
A pertinent message from a great friend!