Over the past 7 years, my life has twisted and turned, taking many different paths. In 2001, my oldest son graduated high school. In 2003, he moved 9 hours away from home. In 2004, I buried the man I was married to for almost 25 years. In 2005, my oldest son got married. In 2006, my youngest son had an aortic root transplant. In May 2008, my youngest son graduated high school and in July 2008 I remarried. That was a busy year! :-) In July 2009, my sweet little granddaughter was born. Through all of those major life events, my girlfriends were there.
Many years ago, we formed our little group and called ourselves the Real Magnolias (after a book written by Becky Freemen). We had monthly events where we would meet in our homes for some outrageous theme party or go out to dinner. Dressing up, acting silly and calling major attention to ourselves was always the norm for us. Occasionally, we would take our show on the road and travel on down to the beach (which became an annual event) to entertain those who needed entertaining. We made new friends and lots of memories on those trips. We held our own version of the Miss America pageant. We were all beautiful and all winners. We were the Real Magnolias and those GRITS had nothing on us! We have all been through major life changes and have been there for one another. Not only have we been through personal changes in our own lives, but our Real Magnolias have been through changes as a group. They were subtle changes at first - one moved here and another there. Ballgames, dance recitals, gymnastics and sometimes husbands kept some of us from attending our monthly events. We finally decided to just let them go altogether, but we would attempt to keep in touch with one another and every once in a while find a date for dinner. However, over the past 5 years, we all seem to have drifted our separate ways. And I think that is how it is supposed to be....for some of us anyway.
You see, God brought us all together at a time in our lives when we all needed each other for support. Some of us were younger, some of us were older, but we all had something to teach the other girls, something that would be beneficial to someone else in the group. Alot of times it was nothing more than a gripe session, sometimes we needed to cry on each others' shoulders and sometimes, we just needed to hold hands and sit quietly, knowing that the other one was there for us and no words needed to be spoken.
As our group drifted apart, we each found other friendships and circles in which to be involved. I believe by having been a Real Magnolia, we had something that others needed and that God felt it was time for us to move on, to share those experiences with other women. After all, we had learned so much from each other over the years.
In a few weeks, I will be saying good-bye to the Real Magnolias as I will be moving from Alabama to Texas. Some of the good-byes will be permanent, with others it will be more like "see ya in a few". In honor of those wonderful friends - Monica, Amy, Paige, Lauren, Sam, Carly, Nikki, and Emma Kate (not their real names - we never used our real names) and the others whose pseudo names escape me, I will be posting some of their stories over the next few weeks, as well as a few of my own, of our time spent together. While some of them may vehemently deny their participation in the Real Magnolias, I will kindly remind them I will always carry "the book"! Proof positive, including photos! :-) And as the old saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words"!
I love you all and cherish the memories we made and the time spent as a Real Magnolia!
I'm just sayin',
"When the coffee is hot, and the talk is easy, and the feeling is good, and the laughter is light, and the memories are many, but the time is too short....you know you are with a friend."