Guest Blog by Christine Buck
If you ask me today which women I’d like to grow old with, it’s a no-brainer: the women who have already seen me through relationships, break-ups, moves, career changes, and family crises for much of the whole uneven course of my life.
There’s Christine, who just seems to know when things are tough and is there to listen and support – we’re at 27 years of steady friendship now. And Susan, who I met during a nonprofit stint in the early 70’s – I was around for the birth of her second daughter back then and she just had a baby of her own last week.
Then there’s Cindy, Ellen, and Frances, all fine colleagues in decades past, and fine friends ever since. And I can’t forget my three sisters, who are spread across the country but always there for a heart-to-heart by phone when needed.
These women see my flaws and love me anyway. We laugh about our memory lapses and the Kegel exercises we should be doing. And we ponder what’s next as we hit the decade when most of our parents actually retired.
Of course, life goes on, and we really don’t know who we’ll have with us for the long haul. Sometimes, when she’s feeling down, I hear my 94-year-old cousin Doras say that all the people who meant the most to her are gone – her husband, of course, and her very dear sister Violet, and women friends I’ve never met.
How must it feel, I wonder, to have your friends and family drop away, one by one, until you no longer have those particular mirrors to your life? It reminds me of that old song from childhood: Make new friends, but keep the old/one is silver and the other gold. Good advice, I think. There’s no guarantee we’ll have the dear friends we enjoy now as we age, but I trust that newer friendships will continue to ripen and keep things interesting.