When all is said and done, my friends, this is where I want to be:
sitting on a shady porch in the summer time, on a squeaky rocking chair dressed in a long silk dress that feels like cool water on my skin, with a cardigan. There you are, Sab, and Kirsten, old and wrinkled and falling to bits, hardly recognizable from the young things we are today. But we wouldn’t see that, because we see each other almost every day and have seen each other our whole lives. Through getting jobs and moving away, when emails and messages and phone calls are enough because we are pursuing our dreams, to getting married (Kirsten’s will be very cool, hip, expensive, and surprisingly traditional. Sab’s will be colourful and full of loud music and a dance party and unconventional twists. Andrea’s will most likely be something hippy, with bare feet and a BBQ and an outdoor ceremony.) and having our husbands be friends who roll their eyes at us when we gossip and drink too much wine and are silly, to having hordes of children run around Kirsten’s backyard, Sab telling hers to be extra nice to Andrea’s bookish, shy ones, while Kirsten’s are bossy and well mannered.
Even when our children grow up and move out, and we search for new meaning to fill our days, and our husbands aren’t as sexy as they used to be, and we aren’t either with our grey hair and saggy boobs, we will still hang out and support one another through our parents dying and through big life changes. And little ones too, like changing the colour of the living room to an awful colour and being so embarrassed. Kirsten will pray and then help you move furniture, Sab will tell you what you need to hear even when no one else wants to tell you, and Andrea will listen and write. All are needed to get the most out of life.
And then, in very twilight years of life, when our friends have been put into homes and our husbands have passed on, when you almost welcome death because you are afraid to be the last one standing, the one who has to suffer through seeing them all go before you, we will sit on creaky rocking chairs and sip on iced Tea. We will cackle at stupid jokes, and make vixen eyes at old men, and whistle at the hot young things. Kirsten will be constantly knitting something for the poor, or her great grandchildren, Sab will be adjusting her earpiece because she is so deaf from listening to loud music when she was young, and Andrea will be secretly adding something alcoholic to their iced Tea. This kind of Love, this decade transcending Love, is what will be waiting for us on that porch. It’s not the same kind of love we will have for our spouses, but it is just as powerful, if not more so. This kind of Love is what guarantees that we will not die alone, but rather slip gracefully away in the night with your two best friends holding your hands, saying, see you in a while, it won’t be long now, they could never separate us for long.
And that, my friends, is why we should never be afraid of what is ahead, because at the end of it all, and through the middle and the beginning and the thick and the thin, we are there for one another. Love is the most important thing, and we are rich in it.