Saving the Best for Last
I find myself in a wealthy position at this time in life. No, I did not win the Power Ball Lottery, yet, but I’ve come into something I’ve always wished for and that’s authentic friendships. Make no mistake, I’m not referring to life-long friends all the way back to grade school; instead, I’m talking about friendships that I’ve made within the last three years of my life. Surprising, yes! How is it possible that I’ve waited until the age of sixty to discover authentic, loving friendships? Certainly, I’ve been surrounded by friendships throughout my life that assisted me in my growth as a person and vis versa. The difference is in the last three years of my life, I allowed myself to be me, the real me. Before this, I was Joseph and Clementine’s daughter, followed by Sam’s wife which led to Sam, Julie and Kelli’s mom and now, with great pride, Mimi to Sawyer and Chiara. Admittedly, without a rule book to follow, mistakes were made while balancing my varied titles on this journey. I still retain those titles, but now I find myself willing to embrace and accept me as the adult I’ve grown into.
Because of my daring decision to be me, I was careful to leave one eye open just in case of an unexpected, unsavory acquaintance. To my surprise I attracted some wonderful friends in this sixth decade of my life. Like Jesus’ first miracle at the Wedding of Cana, the fine wine was not served until the end of the celebration, saving the best for last. Following all the chaos of Hurricane Harvey, I’ve realized the enormity of God’s blessings on both Sam and me when we first settled in Matagorda. Other than my sister and an elderly couple living several houses down from us, we knew no one. Starting from scratch, we put ourselves out there in hopes of finding good friends as we settled into retirement. It’s better than we ever imagined.
When I’ve shared my good fortune with others, some individuals have mentioned that it was not the case for them. Let me share with you what I shared with them. First, I could have saved myself a lot of time by embracing myself for who I was long, long ago. It’s easy to get tangled up in society’s measure of what we should be rather than just being ourselves. Once I did accept myself, things began to change. The second step was just as critical. I had to put myself out there and experience what it was like to be vulnerable. Granted, there were times that acquaintances moved on without showing any desire in getting to know me, but the good news was it guided me in the direction of the best friendships. It takes courage to step out of your comfort zone to see who’s out there.
Last weekend at an impromptu party, a wise friend suggested that I consider the role I played in bringing these quality friendships together. I saw myself as blessed for finding my new friends. It never occurred to me my new friends were waiting to be found. With friendship in mind, we raised our wine glasses and toasted to our good fortune. Cheers!
Originally published in the Bay City Tribune on Sunday, September 17, 2017.