Saturday, April 23, 2016

    

      I can’t post photos of the friends I am about to describe, as I would feel badly leaving out any of the wonderful women who inspire, motivate and support me.You will all recognize yourselves in the following paragraphs. In the ten years, I have lived in Wilmington, North Carolina, I have  found some of the most selfless, kind and nurturing friendships ever. There are a few whom I treasure still in Michigan, but the women here have embraced me both socially and professionally in my “golden” years.

    I have friends here who read my blog every day and always comment positively in some way. There are some who have bought every book I’ve written and even some for their friends. There are those few who have not attended just one of my concerts, but all of my concerts—even after they’ve heard the same one once or twice. Some are there for the down days holding my hand across the cyber lines and one or two even helping to dry my tears. There are those who are effusive, and those who are quiet in their caring—all whom I embrace with my whole heart.

     Why am I writing about these women? Because I will soon be leaving them due to our upcoming move to Sarasota, Florida. Many people have so kindly said, “Oh, you will make new friends down there.” Yes, I will. New friends are fresh and fun, but they are new. It will take time to determine if they are temporary or forever friends. As I have thought about my relationships through the years, I have realized that the friendships that endure are like precious jewels; they shine no matter whether you wear them or put them in a velvet box for a while. 

     Moving, especially at my age, is a courageous endeavor. Starting all over where you know no one and have no contacts is a frightening experience. I have done it before with no problem, but I was younger and knew that there were years ahead to adjust, if necessary. Moving in the later years is a whole new ballgame, and you never know how many times you’ll get to be up to bat.

    We are excited about our new adventure, but I hope my treasured friends know that there will be days when I lock myself up in my new closet and sob from the gut wondering how and why I left them. These women are the kind who cheer me on and say, “You will love it, and we will miss you.” That’s the kind of women they are. 

     If you have friends like mine, consider yourself very lucky. If you don’t, there’s plenty of time, but friendship takes energy and commitment. I remember my mother saying when I was quite young, “Make sure you always have several good female friends. It is crucially important.” I now understand. Are you the kind of friend that I’m describing? These women are role models. They give with no strings. They are strong, caring, sensitive, humble souls who have touched my life deeply. I will miss you all so much!