Sometimes—and I am ashamed to admit it is very rare—I become overwhelmed by how blessed I am. Recent awareness of blessings started a few days ago as reminders arrived all around me like droplets of spring rain, refreshing my spirit and touching my heart.
Last Friday, an unexpected bouquet arrived from a young woman (she is 54, and that is young in my book). I’ve known and loved her all her life. From then on, the clouds opened and I was pretty soppy with tears of more than gratitude as affirmations arrived by text, card, and gift. It was like a well with dried and cracked sides was being filled to the point of overflowing.
As the weekend progressed, I started thinking of all the women in my life I have loved so much who have graced my life with their wisdom, love, friendship, kindness, and (most of all) their acceptance. On Mother’s Day, I thought about my own mother, who raised six children essentially on her own. I was the surprise and exclamation point after a seven-year hiatus. We didn’t have much, but I always knew I was loved.
Later that day we went to the family’s Mother’s Day celebration. It was hosted and organized by Christopher, our son. The men brought the food and did all the labor. (Kudos to the men in my life.) After everyone arrived, greetings were exchanged, and a commemorative photo was taken that included our amazing young women who have not yet experienced motherhood. There was plenty of sunshine, but a cold, stiff ocean breeze cut to the skin. So we gathered together outside, cozy on couches sheltered from the wind and fortified with starters and drinks.
We were all chatting, enjoying ourselves and catching up, a lively group from age 18 on up (since I happen to be the upper bar, we will leave the eldest shrouded in mystery). Then someone noticed all the men were inside. After a few seconds of ruminative silence, we took up where we left off. Topics ranged. Jen’s remodeled home came up, and that led to privacy with bathroom barn doors. The hosts had this type of door and little signs that read, “Come On In” and “Occupied.” We all decided to use a bathroom with a real lock—unless we had a lookout. The sisterhood has each other’s back.
We also discussed planned and unplanned pregnancy. Then birth order came up. Those who were eldest bragged about always being the responsible child. One who was a surprise third child lamented about a conversation she had with her dad. Comparing life before and after her arrival, he complained about how inconvenient it was to have three children—from having to get a five-top table at restaurants to “It’s more work than having just one more child.”
Shared in a safe place, we all listened and nurtured—after all, the last is often the best (I should know).
Two upcoming family weddings came up. We circled around cosmetic fillers and the problems with lips.
And, of course, our furry families intruded. Collectively, there were five canines 2 years and under to brag and complain about. It was utterly relaxed and restorative.
And then the time came to open gifts—tokens of thoughtful love. But what I cherish most are the cards where handwritten messages accompany greeting-card sentiments. Tears, hand pats, and hugs accompany this ritual. These cards will be reread later and held close to our hearts.
So where were the men? They joined us as we opened gifts, gathering on one edge of the patio like a Greek chorus. But this chorus was not accompanying the main show. They were all engaged in their own production. We later found out they had been torn away from a ball game.
But it was all good! Because this writing is about all the women who have enriched my life in so many ways and how suddenly it came into focus.
Thank you all, my beautiful sisterhood, for the texts, bouquets, gifts, and heartful written words. I cannot imagine life without you.