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We all have a story to tell.

  • Writer's pictureBarb Drummond

Never underestimate the power of estrogen and the SHE-nanigans it creates...(an observation on the p

I just spent 4 days with a group of women. Women I have know for a very long time but never in the atmosphere that I experienced this weekend. In prior years we had met individually but never collectively or in such an intimate setting as this weekend.

An idea born from the beautiful Cara who has one of the cosiest places on earth...aptly named: "Anam Cara". I did not know at the time that Anam Cara refers to the Celtic spiritual belief of souls connecting and bonding. Anam Cara is also an old gaelic term for "soul friend". When I read those terms - I felt goose bumps...the week-end was exactly that!

I find nurturing friendships difficult. Everyone has such busy lives. Many times I don't have the energy or the desire...making excuse after excuse to bow out - even though that is probably when I need my friends the most.

The time I spent with these gals reminded me that all women need to take the time to deepen these friendships. I have heard women say that their girlfriend saved them... girlfriends can help make a tragedy bearable or perhaps a diagnosis manageable. Many girlfriends appear to read minds, read our emotions and know intuitively what needs to be done and start the process without asking or permission. Many simply know it just needs to be done. They can listen, empathize and show compassion, do dishes, run errands, and perhaps most importantly tell you when you are being a bitch... I learned through our son's open heart surgery and leukemia that while faith kept us grounded it was friends who helped us move forward in the process of coping. My girl friends helped me to adjust to the new normal.

One friend was notably absent this weekend. One whom I was so looking forward to getting to know much better. Unfortunately, due to her health she was not able to attend. Cancer is truly the mother of all bitches. A few moments through out the weekend, I felt like we had abandoned her on cancer island. I know it was a choice and one beyond her control but her absence was ever present..BUT... by keeping her in the loop with silly photos and running commentary through messages it felt wonderful that she was "virtually" there ...with no pressure to participate. When she responded, 6 phones would bing, the message reviewed and comments or ooo's and ahh's or laughter ensued. Next time my friend, next time.

It was a weekend of pampering, facials, massages, tears, hennas, deep talks, shopping, songs, hilarious games, movies and a drumming circle. Discovering grammatically incorrect signs, amazing food, intellectual conversations, high tea,

raw honesty, a few confessions, fears shared, reiki with the opening of third eyes and ridding of negative energy...oh, and laughter. Let's not forget the laughter. Significant laughter. Laughter generated from the bottoms of our toes to the tops of our heads. Laughter so intense that abs were given a workout and breaths were hard to catch.

My own experience with women friends has been checkered and somewhat jaded over the years. I guard myself with women. I have trust issues with women. I seem to be able to relate more to men than women - which in turn, many women do not understand. In my lifetime, there have been those who betrayed me and undermined me, so I pulled myself from certain circles because of it, making excuses or feigning busy. Yet, there have been women who have taken bullets for me and are still in my life today. NO matter how far and few the visits feels like we were never apart.

Having great girlfriends is mostly a matter of BEING a GREAT friend. Something I may not have been over the years. I have learned that some friendships take lots of effort and others are effortless. I think I’ve matured enough to understand the value of friendships with these women. I was grateful to be included and look forward to more love, laughter and friendship with them in the future..

"Sometimes it takes another woman to intuitively recognize what needs to be done — then do it. Or to sense what needs to be said — then say it. Or to take the thoughts and emotions we don’t voice — and know what to make of them."

- unknown

Two daughters were there witnessing the SHE-nanigans. At times they appeared amused, bored, intrigued, embarrassed or perhaps even mortified in certain moments. BUT... for them to witness their moms bond as women was an amazing lesson on love and friendship that could never have been taught elsewhere.

I hope this weekend demonstrates to them why friendships matter. Why GIRL friendships matter. That in good times and bad, laughter and tears, and through the highs and lows that it reveals who is with us for the long haul and never feeling the need to pull away. Who is willing to share in our suffering so that one day, when we are once again will be from our toes to the top of our heads.

AND... in that laughter there will be a strong history from bonds formed over the years that will make the laughter sound richer, deeper and more loving and will stir the curiosity of anyone else's daughters who just happen to be in earshot.

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