Over my lifetime, I’ve said a lot of hellos and goodbyes. Lots of my friends live in different places so the hellos and goodbyes flow freely between us. I always hope it’s not the last goodbye and feel blessed when I find out I get to say hello to a friend again.
I moved to Boise 13 years ago after I got my dream job as a technical writer/editor. Not only did I have the best job ever, I was blessed to be a part of a great group of people. They took me in like I was an old friend. Career-wise, it was the best move I ever made. Personally, I gained close friends who were always there for me, offering help and support. Four of those friends were the other writers and one was a realty specialist who loved the same crafty things we did. Our gang of five were either already grandmas or became grandmas while we were working.
I was the first of our granny gang to retire. That was our first goodbye. I sorely missed the camaraderie at work, but we stayed in close touch. We often ate lunch together and went fabric shopping. Parking places at the office were scarce so I’d drive by the office and pick up the others over their lunch hour. It worked great. They kept their parking spaces, and I got the girl-time I craved.
Over time, the other gang members retired. Our time together shrank as our post-retirement lives took over, but we always made time have lunches together and occasionally go shopping. The best part of everyone being retired was no time constraints or time clock to tell us when we had to say goodbye. Long lunches became the standard.
One night, I had a dream about us where we were in a beauty contest with a bunch of young girls. The girls were all beautiful and dress in fine gowns. When the judges awarded the title to the granny gang, the young girls threw a fit and said we didn’t deserve to win because we were old and ugly. The judges made them stop and said, “No, grannies are beautiful, and they know how to do things.” The girls all started crying, but the five grannies were very happy. Who wouldn’t be? We were beautiful and knew how to do things. That dream was the inspiration for my book, The Five Grannies Go to the Ball.
One of our gang is moving back to her home turf close to where her siblings live so this past week we had one last get-together. While I’m very happy for her, I’m very sad for me. It won’t be same without her here. Still, she’ll always be one of the five grannies. We’ve already decided how we can meet halfway at Pickles Place in Arco which is about halfway between us. What a happy thought that we can still do lunches occasionally!
I treasure the friendships of the granny gang. Love and friendships aren’t diminished by distance; it just takes a little more effort to nourish. Texts and phone calls will take care of that.
I think of the adage, don’t be sad it’s over, be glad it happened. I’m very glad and thankful it happened. Good friends and happy memories. Those make for a good life.