Hello Beautiful Souls-Last Saturday I had the privilege of spending the day with an old friend. It is with great adoration that I can say that this sweet friend and her family have been part of my life for fifty plus years! If you have lived that long and you have the honor to boast about a similar life-long friendship, I raise my glass to you! Unlike some relationships that require great attention, I don’t think Susan and I have ever had to really work at our friendship, it just works for us and I think it always has. Through the years we’ve been busy living our lives following where our experiences have taken us. We both got married, raised our families and found our careers, and last weekend offered a gentle reminder of the feelings that wrap me up with the familiar comfort of old friends. I hope you have a friend like that. Someone that shares your childhood and catching up is as gratifying and fun as reminiscing and looking back. Susan and I grew up in the same neighborhood just blocks from each other and this past Saturday while driving through my hometown, I stopped in front of my childhood home. I sat in my car in the middle of the road staring at the house. Just being in front of it bought back so many memories. It felt good to remember and to let the memories flood my spirit with warmth and love. Good childhood memories in this place. Carefree innocence. Good Friends. Good times. The house looks good. Whoever owns it now is taking very good care of it. That will make my dad happy, I will have to tell him I was back here visiting, that will make him happy too. As I drove down our street, I was surprised that I could actually remember most of the names, the names of the families that lived in each house I passed. It was good. It felt good to remember people I hadn’t thought about in years. It was a different time then, of course that’s what all people older than us say and now I’m saying it, but it’s true. As kids, we would leave the house in the morning and not have to return home until dinner time. If we were within earshot, we would hear my mother’s whistle, man she could whistle. I tried, oh I tried, but I was never able to whistle like my mom. When we heard that whistle we better hightail it home because dinner was ready. We didn’t have cell phones or computers, no means of contacting one another unless we were near a land line. They weren’t called land lines then, they were just called phones. But most of the time we were outside playing or riding our bikes or hanging out at the park or just hanging out. We didn’t get into trouble (not any real trouble) and nobody cared if we were sitting in front of their house under the street lamp. We didn’t have an easy way to keep in touch during the day but we had trust. Trust that the friends we were hanging out with were good people. Trust that if you weren’t home in time for dinner, you would go to bed without any and trust that if you weren’t home by the time agreed upon, you were going to suffer the consequences of disobeying your folks. Responsibility, trust and respect were the golden rules and I think we all did a pretty decent job of following them.
Back to Susan and family! We agreed to meet at her parent’s home, the home she grew up in. As I pulled up to their house, it looks smaller than I remember. How did they raise seven kids in that house? As I enter I am instantly taken back in time because there is a delicious aroma coming from the kitchen. Their house always smelled good because I feel like there was always something cooking. The best meatballs I ever had were made in their kitchen, old family recipes from Susan’s mom and grandmother. Sweet, Italian women with affectionate souls that fed your belly and warmed your heart. I was met in the kitchen by Susan’s dad who is now 92 years old and the moment I saw him I couldn’t hold back the tears. I hadn’t seen him in a long time and I was instantly filled with gratitude recalling his sweet nature and calm demeanor as he sat at the kitchen table while his busy family swirled around him. I always liked that, that family chaos and constant commotion. I always felt welcome and comfortable in their home. We sat around that same kitchen table on Saturday with Susan’s mom and dad looking at old pictures, reminiscing and catching up. The love and respect they all have for one another was palatable. I watched as now the tables have turned and the girls are cooking and caring for their mother. Their dad is caring for their mom full time in their home and it was all so beautiful and sweet. A fulfilled promise between Mr. and Mrs., made to one another years ago, no doubt.
We’ve all changed but we are so much the same. Saturday was a much needed day for me. I’ve been so busy lately which also makes my mood serious. I’ve put a lot of responsibilities on my shoulders and it felt good to let go of serious for a day and reconnect, have fun and share lots of laughs. It felt good to go out and play!
This visit helped to recharge my batteries and to remember the importance of connecting with special people in my life. People from my past that will continue to be part of my future. I think the reason to share in this week’s blog is to send a reminder to all of you, my readers and followers, to make it a priority to connect with the important people in your own life. It is truly wonderful to recall cherished memories with the people that were integral in raising you. I consider anyone involved in my childhood including friends and their families as playing an important role to help raise me. How can I not? My parents and siblings have top recognition of course, but I would be remiss if I did not include the roles of early friendships as being equally significant.
There have been studies done on the importance of friendships particularly in women and how we need other women in our lives to share and grow together and how the roles of friendships nurture our souls. One of the studies is outlined here by the Huffington Post. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/randy-kamen-gredinger-edd/female-friendship_b_2193062.html there are numerous health benefits to the connections we make throughout our lives. These connections deliver huge doses of feel-good chemicals boosting our immune systems and releasing oxytocin that create heart coherence and balance. If you’ve ever wondered why as a woman you feel compelled to make plans for a girl’s night or simply meet for lunch, it is hard-wired for us to connect and nurture each other. So put aside your busy-ness and allow some play time. Surrender to your inner needs. It will improve your health and well-being beyond your expectations. Remember how good it feels after a night out with the girls and do it again. Put it in your calendar and make it a priority in your life. Your mind, body and soul will thank you and it will benefit other relationships in your life because it will fill you up and when you are full, you can give more of you to the people you love.
Connect and nurture each other. Beautiful Women. Beautiful Men. Beautiful Souls.