As I said in part one, I am having a party for all the wonderful women that have influenced my life. It is certainly a varied group of women. I hope you enjoy meeting the next group.
When I married 1975, new girlfriends came into my life, my Mother-in-Law, Heidi, and her daughters, Carol and Pinky. Heidi and I had our moments but we learned to have the most wonderful relationship because it was something we both wanted. She loved her family and accepted their ever changing lives. She loved yours, mine, ours, theirs, and someone else’s. It didn’t matter. If her children were happy, she was happy too. I believe I learned acceptance from her. Carol scared me silly at first. When she called and said she was coming over, it was pure bedlam making sure the house was perfect because she was sure to notice. I think she secretly liked that she had that effect on people. We became great friends when I stopped letting her opinion bother me. Her straightforward dealing with life taught me to be a little gentler. Pinky was the baby of the family and we bonded in her teenage years when she and her mom knocked heads. She has grown into an amazing woman. Life separates all of us but memories warm my heart.
In 1979, when the Army moved us to Germany, Mary Ellen was the best friend I could have. I was terrified and she showed me the ropes. We were neighbors and told each other that we did not want someone sitting on the doorstep every morning. It wasn’t long and we were inseparable, sitting on each other’s steps, every morning. I do not think I could have survived that first year without her. She allowed me to love her son as my own and when they were transferred it was devastating. Such is Army life. We still correspond although it has been 20 years since we have seen each other.
When we left Germany in 1982, we moved to Texas and I began working as an apartment assistant manager. I met another Carol in Dallas who took me under her wing. She generously taught me how to be successful and when I moved on to a management position with another company, it was with her blessing. I could not have had a better teacher.
In the mid 80’s I joined a spiritual Fellowship that truly saved my sanity. As we moved from station to station I met many people within this program. When we settled back in Florida in 1990, I found a group that introduced me to three women that would totally change my life and the way I view friends. From these women, I learned to be an adult, to be accountable for my actions. I learned to be honest and open to change. My mentor & sponsor tells me all the things I don’t want to hear and makes me face truth. She does all this with the most amazing love and kindness you could ever imagine. Another woman was a rose nut and she taught me how to grow roses, which also taught me I didn’t have to know everything, I just had to be willing to learn. The third lady is pure love. She just loves me and makes me feel like I am the most wonderful friend in the world, even when I am not. These are the women that held me together when my world fell apart and told me that tomorrow would be better. And it is.
These women and many others within this Fellowship helped me to learn to trust God above all else, to love unconditionally, to have compassion for others and to spread hope to others by sharing the life I have lived. I can never repay the gift of love they share on a regular basis.
All these people must be at my party. And there are still more to come.