Friday, May 25, 2012

Menopausal Girlfriends

Going Menopausal: Reflections of a 51 Year Old Woman On Her Family, Her Life And Her God

Rambling #5:

I struggle with girl friends.  

I didn't learn how to be one until I got older.  I grew up with brothers, competing with them in all physical areas of my life, skiing and waterskiing, wrestling and fighting.  

I was tough and bossy.  

Even after I was married, my little brother would tackle me, pound on my chest and shout in my face saying how good it was to see me. 

I envied those close girlie connections.  

I stood on the outside looking in or that's how it felt.

My mother didn't model girlfriend relationships well.  I was her best friend growing up.  I was her everything.  One day, when I was married and raising  children, I realized this was unhealthy.  I realized I was not responsible for my mom's happiness or her life and distance began to grow between us. Today she has no friends, least as far as I know.  She's chosen to isolate herself from her family, from the world.  She once told me people have always hurt her, so why try.  

She's safe inside her world.

So I've worked hard at developing girlfriends.  

I have a friend who makes me laugh.  She’s big and buxom and broken and loves Jesus just like I do.  

She’s unorthodox and shocking and I love her. 

Sometimes we hurt each other with our words, maybe not meeting our expectations of friendship with each other or perhaps it's our hormones.  We always apologize, sometimes by text, but we forgive.  

She brought me into a group of menopausal coffee friends.  Being ADHD, she's always changing the location.  Last week we met in a beautiful, covered garden with gas heaters and comfy couches.  We chatted and laughed and sipped our coffees, each of us broken, each of us loving Jesus, each of us understanding the other.  I looked up from our laughter once in a while only to notice other women looking on with, what I thought might be...envy.

I have a Solomon friend too. Chocked full of wisdom, I turn to her when I know I need to hear what I may not want to hear. The hard truth.

 Each of my menopause girlfriends fill a different part of me.

Then there are my childhood cancer friends all of us connected through our journeys with our children stricken by cancer.  

All of us lost in some ways.

J is calm, strong in her God, empathetic to my emotions, a good listener.  Her son survived cancer twice.

L grieves the loss of her boy. Strong and spiritual, I marvel at her. She doesn't give up finding the meaning behind her loss.  M lost her son when my son finished treatment.  She is dedicated at making a difference for others.  

 My Summit Sister, loves the mountains and hiking and walking in God’s grand creation just as I do.  She is young, not yet menopausal, but years ago her daughter and her husband fought cancer at the same time.  

We climb mountains together! 

With friends like this, I am rich.  

Recently, my mom became very sick, seriously sick.  And all my "mom issue" emotions came bubbling up.  

I found myself alone in my pain.  I isolated myself.

This was wrong.

I have my menopause friends, I have my childhood cancer friends.  I have friends.

So I reached out.  

I was welcomed. 

I have girlfriends!

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