I have always had good female friends. Thinking way back to Jim's seminary days and my first years of teaching, I remember the group we partied with and friends still in town from college and high school days. We spent a year in Scotland and I bonded with the group of women in the childbirth classes, some of whom we met again on another venture there. Then there were Harvard student housing days with other mothers in the same situation I was in.
It didn't take long to make good friends in Raleigh--from church, from nursery school parents, great neighbors, and a YWCA exercise class.
Moving to South Bend was a time to reunite with some old college friends at church and to make new friends at church and with teaching colleagues.
But life goes on. I have retired and I keep contact with just one former colleague from work. Many of those friends we met twenty years ago at church have moved on to other places. We see a few of them occasionally and email and Facebook and the phone keep us in touch a bit.
In the last year or so, I have enjoyed a new friendship of someone my age as we walk and talk maybe twice a week. Maybe the art museum docent class will be a source of friendships of others about my age.
As I looked around the group at a pool party held after a church softball game this week, I realized that many of our friends are the age of our children. In some cases, we are older than their parents. We enjoy their company a lot and it is a delight to have friends of all ages.
Through all the years, I consider my sister my most faithful friend. We talk a few times each week and email a few more times. She has been a listener and a support to me always. She has lived in the same area all her life and has several good female friends. Living in one place has its advantages at this stage of life, I think.
Jim's mom has outlived her relatives and her friends. Friendship is difficult with her hearing and memory loss. A. good friend of hers in the past moved into her assisted living but she seems to have forgotten she is there. Plus neither one of them hear well.
For now, I will try to nurture the friendships I have and look to initiate others. Losses are inevitable.