The Thursday after Mother’s day is one of my favorite days of the year. It is the day that the DD Annual Girls’ Weekend begins. I long for this day every single year. Eight of my best friends in the world and I come together for this weekend every year and head to the beaches of the Outer Banks. Some years it is the only time that I see them all year long, but you would never guess that we have been apart for a whole year. When we come together, it is like no other thing I can describe. We all come from very different backgrounds and many different beliefs, but somehow this friendship has stood the test of time. We make each other better. We get each other in ways that no one else does. We give each other unconditional support and love no matter what. We listen to each other, offer advice, give tough love, and laugh together all the time. You would think that a group of friends that large wouldn’t really work, but it does. This friendship began almost 12 years ago at an elementary school where we all were teachers. The group began with just 5 of us. That 5 all taught in the very back corner of the school where very few people ventured besides us. We were the back hall gang. There were three of us on one side of the hall and two on the other. I remember morning after morning standing in the hallway outside of each of our classrooms chatting as our students arrived for the day. We bonded over tough students, difficult administration, our own children, and New Kids on the Block. That hallway is where it all began. Over the years the rest just sort of melted into the group until we had our core unit of 9. Although we all started as teachers in the same elementary school, we didn’t all stay there. Some moved to new schools, some moved away (me), some quit teaching all together, and some moved to high school. No matter the distance between us, we come together this one weekend a year to just be together.
This weekend, for me, is always about restoration. It is about the restoration of my mind, body, and spirit. It is a time to just be me without the pressures of life in general. I can take off all of my hats and just be still. Those eight ladies give me the fuel I need to move forward with the coming year. They give me strength to face the difficult things in my life. It is a weekend for me to let go of all of the negative and stress in my life. It all melts away the minute I see the first person. It really is hard to describe what these ladies do for me in my life and have done for me over the years. I’ve heard it said that if your friendship lasts for 10 years, you will be friends for life. Those 8 ladies will definitely be my friends for life. I could not even begin to imagine my life without any of them. We always joke what we will be like when we are all old and grey (some of us are getting there faster than others <wink, wink>). We sometimes see a group of little old ladies together and always say that will be us one day, and I know it will be. We will be sitting on the beach while one of us complains about the sand, one is dancing like a maniac, some are involved in deep conversations, and others are just taking it all in. I think our stories would make a great novel one day. We have even joked about writing it. It would surely be a great read. I might even venture to say that it would be a best seller! LOL!
As I get ready to hit the road today, I am reminded of all of the laughter and heartbreak we have shared. The memories are vast and my heart is full. There is no other way to describe us other than my tribe. Without them, my life would not be complete. I love each of them dearly. They are my forever friends. I cannot wait to get there.