Gal pals

They get me.

That in itself is amazing. They get quirky ‘ole me.

And they show up. Not always, not in every way I hope for, but I can be a bit unreasonable that way, truth be told.

Girlfriends who show up are worth more than all the tea in China. And that folksy saying was a favorite of my Nana, the ultimate gal pal.

woman leg with pink high heel shoes and vintage skirt
Good morning, Beautiful! It’s a good day for a good day.

I recently exited what was, for the most part, a really great relationship. I was devastated, although feeling in my heart it was what I had to do.

I am a deep feeler. This should come as no surprise to any regular readers of my blog. Feeling things deeply, taking in what is around us, is what makes any writer a writer. Writing is the way we process the world. But the feeling part generally comes with it.

So I was floating a bit after this breakup like so much flotsam and jetsam.

Without sharing too much–one detail about my relationship. His nickname for me was Beautiful. Every time I’d pick up the phone, I’d hear, “Hey, Beautiful.” And each morning, without fail, I’d get a sweet text message that began, “Good morning, Beautiful!” Did I mention he was also big on flowers?

A girl can come to count on those bits without even knowing she has let herself. And believe me, it took some hammering at my walls to get me to count on anything.

My gal pals knew this was my first longer term relationship post-divorce. I’d spent some time alone and some meeting crazy men who were not worth a second meeting. They had watched me get through a painful divorce and the aftermath, get out there to face the many frogs that came my way, and then meet someone who treated me really well and made me happy.

They were there, in every sense of the word.

And they showed up again after this breakup.

The first post-split morning, as I woke to the painful realization there would be no sweet good morning text message, I fought back tears. It had become such a part of our routine, such a great reminder of how lucky we were to have each other.

When I finally rolled over and picked up my mobile phone from the bedside table, there was my friend Jules across the many miles, texting, “Good morning, Beautiful! It’s a good day for a good day.” My eyes welled with tears and I thanked God for her a million times over.

Throughout that day and the days that followed, I got pics, funny anecdotes, links to great stuff on the Web.

She showed up.

Another friend knocked on my door with the most beautiful bouquet. How did she know I was thinking it would be years before I got flowers again? I’m looking at them now and they’re a bit of spring at the onset of winter. She sat on my bed, listened to me sniffle in my bathrobe and reassured me. And did not tell me how absolutely miserable and tired I looked that day, which scored her bonus points.

Mothers Day Tea Party Still life
I was able to get out of my own pain for a bit and feel loved again.

Another friend brought me some chai tea. Yet another texted such a heartfelt message, I was able to get out of my own pain for a bit and feel loved again. I will always be thankful, also, for the friend who called me every few hours those first few days because she seemed to get that grief comes in waves; the best way to move through it is to talk it out so you’re not so in your own head.

They showed up. As they have after my parents’ deaths, when I was downed by the flu and bronchitis, you name it.

I am not always good about asking for or accepting help. I am learning to master both.

But I am good at showing up for my gal pals. The older I get, the more intentional I am about it. It matters. Damn straight it does.

Together, we soften the journey.


31 Comments Add yours

  1. There is NOTHING that can take the place of a good girlfriend.

    1. candidkay says:

      It would appear so, right? As I see all the little old ladies walking arm in arm, happily chatting away with each other:).

  2. This made me smile — girlfriends are a TRUE blessing!

    1. candidkay says:

      Happy to have made you smile! And you’re right–they are the secret sauce.

  3. I am so glad for you that you have such wonderful and close friends to help you through this period. I know how strong you are and that you will come through this … confidently. Take care.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you for your kind words. The older I get, the more firmly I know that our own attitude and those accompanying us on the journey make all the difference.

  4. I will be praying that your heart finds joy and peace. Breakups are so difficult. Anything dealing with the heart is so messy. Arrgghh. I am sad you are going through that. Friends are the best. A great blessing. Those voices that remind us that we are beautiful, when we feel alone and far from beauty. God bless them!

    1. candidkay says:

      You are so right–anything dealing with the heart is indeed messy. And not for the timid. Brene Brown is so right on the whole vulnerability thing . .

      1. Being vulnerable is scary and definitely takes courage. And it’s when we are vulnerable that ironically we are the strongest and most filled with faith.

  5. srbottch says:

    Its nice to have friends, good friends. Glad you have them. You made me think, I should call my friend and plan to go out for another ‘bar night’. Maybe we can finish one in less than an hour. Your ‘friend’, Steve…

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, Steve:). Difference between women and men. We’d think less than an hour would never be enough time!

      1. srbottch says:

        I hear you, but I’m talking about a couple of ‘long in the tooth guys’ having a beer. If we finish it in quick time, we’ll just wait a bit and have another. But I’m sure we don’t have the stamina for more than two. Here’s an idea for you, take up dancing – lessons – there are a lot of nice guys doing it an you’ll find even more friends and get some great exercise, mental and physical. And both are good for the soul. But, what do I know, here I am married 46 years and going out for a beer with another guy. As u said, ‘long in the tooth’. You have too nice a smile to be sad…

  6. Amy says:

    As I have gone through life, it has become clearer and clearer to me that having a circle of dear female friends is of vital importance. I love knowing you have a sturdy fortress in your friends. What a blessing.

    Sending love and oceans of peace to you, my beautiful , beautiful friend. xoxoxo

    1. candidkay says:

      A sturdy fortress is a great description! It’s nice to have people who know how to circle the wagons:).

  7. RuthsArc says:

    A lovely post. You have beautiful friends. Girl power.

    1. candidkay says:

      I do have beautiful friends! Thank you:).

  8. lisafab says:

    I would “like” this a hundred times if I could….I’m sorry about the break up because those are never fun…the line I was drawn to the most is “Feeling things deeply, taking in what is around us, is what makes any writer a writer. Writing is the way we process the world. But the feeling part generally comes with it.” That thought is definitely why I write…maybe you will share a little more about the guy because I am WAY curious…but, if you choose not to, I do respect that =)

    1. candidkay says:

      Yep, those deep feelings. Oy:). I won’t share more about him because I want to respect his privacy. Bad enough dating a writer, let alone breaking up with one:)>

  9. Kat says:

    Sorry to hear about your break-up. I have had gone through that a couple of times, and now coming to 40 by end of Dec, and am seeing someone right now, I’m not sure if I can handle another break-up. Having said that, friends are absolutely key in our lives – we need them especially real friends who will be there for you, no matter what. I’m happy for you that those gal pals took care of you, and obviously they are your true friends 🙂 Chin up, girlfriend!

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, I know the feeling of thinking you can’t handle it. So many of us do. Wishing you happiness in your current relationship–and continued strength!

      1. Kat says:

        Thanks 🙂 You take care too…

  10. Your friends sound so warm and generous of spirit. You reap what you sow. Well done. Hang in there and be good to yourself, always.

    1. candidkay says:

      I’d like to say I’m very lucky but I think we all choose our friends. We pay attention to those we’re drawn to and choose what we want to surround ourselves with . . . and that makes all the difference.

  11. Ann says:

    Crying with you from afar. My biggest fear about starting over and I’m not sure my heart can take it. Love and prayers for you.

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, my friend. I’m not sure my heart can take it either. When you’ve gone through the kind of heartbreak you and I have, you want someone that only handles you with kid gloves. And yet, I know the hurt was not intentional. Doesn’t make it feel much better. The alternative, though, is to miss out on happiness. And that part was wonderful. Truly. It is something I wish for you a million times over. Lasting happiness for both of us. I can safely say it is more than well deserved!

  12. So true Kay. To have good friends is a gift. 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, it so is. Especially as we get older. History means the world:).

  13. And they show you just what unconditional love is Kay. Friends are worth their weight in gold! 🙂
    You’ll be stronger this time Kay…yes, it still hurts like blaze’s…but it keeps showing you….you!
    And each time you realise those fears inside, they lessen a little further.
    Take a bow and be proud of the fact that you did move out of your safety zone and step into that relationship.
    Now the next bit is to not become disillusioned and close up shop…that is the lesson, to not allow our fears to bind us further.
    Understand why, and move forward…that is where the love is…for us all.
    Gentle hug from waaaaay over here! Mark

    1. candidkay says:

      Thanks so much for your usual words of wisdom, Mark:). Hug accepted and returned.

  14. koehlerjoni says:

    It’s great to have our girlfriends. I know you are just as supportive when they need you.

    1. candidkay says:

      I am! Or at least I try to be:). We’re all in this together, right?

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