It was "Throwback Thursday" yesterday. I've never thrown back. But, I was however, thrown back by a dear friend. She posted a long-ago photo of me and my dear friends during lunchtime. This lunchtime was not simply a time to eat. For the many years I was a travel writer at Southern Living Magazine, when in town and not on the road, lunch was spent in the cafeteria with "my ladies" and we solved it all. We talked of our home lives, kids, parents, missed deadlines, politics, sadness, accomplishments, movies and television. We discussed ailing loved ones and pets, household issues and the weather. My husband went to war and they were my rock. I got pregnant, and again, this group lead me through it. Some of us told jokes. Others, namely me, didn't usually get these jokes. They blamed it on my youth (at the time) and my hair color (out of a bottle). Still, yesterday, friends, one of my buddies posted a photo on Facebook that brought it all back.
First off, I never had dearer friends, more inspiring mentors or more fabulous adventures. Of course, there were days. Deadlines (ugh), corporate stuff (for lack of a better word), and long hours. I lost an 18-year-old dog, I sent my husband to war and didn't talk to him for 8 months, and I even got secretly married. But, when I think back, I remember my friends and the other "stuff" has faded. When I throw Thursday back to wherever it is intended to be thrown, I think of these ladies, my friends.
One has gone to live in Heaven, but I still hear her laugh and miss her red-headed feistiness. Another birthed twins many years ago, and still when I see a Snickers Bar, I think of her. She had diabetes while pregnant and all she wanted after popping out that boy and girl was a dang Snickers. I think of my mentor, and hero, who took me on my first travel writing adventure and coached me through every big story I had. Another one of my ladies carries a deep southern drawl and has more stories about her momma, daddy and choir and taught me about description and kindness. There was also one who simply told me to remember to "rock you babies as long as they'll let you" and "Be. Here. Now." And then there's my Juana. I'm not a good enough writer to do her justice. Just let me tell you this, if you ever want to feel loved, talk to her. You ever want to feel understood, she's the one. And if you ever want to read words that make you feel as if you have been transported to the place, she's got them. One of the finest writers with the most wicked sense of humor... Juana.
So, I don't blog much. In fact, I am a blogging failure. But this Throwback thing has had me thinking so much about how friends might be far, but they are never forgotten. No photos or cartoons here, folks. This is it this time. Cheers, to my Birmingham gals. Miss our lunches.