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.
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.
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.