Happenstance – it’s a melodic word. There are many blessing moments to be enjoyed through happenstance. Through the happenstance of re-connections made through Facebook a small group of women have gathered together with the connections we made in our high school years, over 44 years ago in Little Flower Catholic High School for girls, in Philadelphia. We were empowered with youthful energy and starry-eyed ideals although, raw with emotions and raging hormones.
Today we’d like to think our emotions are not so ruled by our hormones, but rather by the trappings our lives over the last four decades. As one of the girls stated at one of our get-togethers, “it’s like we picked up where we left off in 1972.” And so we have. Only now, instead of peace sign earrings, hip hugger jeans and Flower Power tee shirts, we have found that we don’t want too much hugging our hips, we wear our tee shirts as loose as we can get them but still like those Peace Sign earrings.
We survived adolescence and are surviving middle age pretty much in the same fashion, mostly by simply being present and listening to each other. Our high school years were not much different than our waxing elder years. We celebrate, we mourn, we whine, we hug.
Through the unfortunate happenstance of someone getting sick and unable to attend the Broadway performance of Al Pacino in China Doll, I received a last minute invitation to spend a day in New York with this group of girls. I gladly accepted her ticket, scoured the internet for the reviews about the performance and then sulked. The critic reviews were scathing. The weather was iffy and I found that I had to drive, driving is not usually an issue, but lately have been having issues with driving across bridges, an unavoidable chore when you live along the Delaware river.
|Burlington Bristol Bridge|
Although I recently learned waning hormones in women can cause this anxiety ‘issue’ with driving across bridges, I still had to cross one of our New Jersey drawbridges into Pennsylvania, to meet up with our travelling crew. I got over it, literally and figuratively.
Once at our gathering point we piled into one vehicle and were on our way up the New Jersey turnpike to New York city. Along the way we chatted about how we were mopey and whined about getting up and on the road early on a Saturday. Eventually the conversations segued into what we always end up talking about, our kids, our grandkids, our jobs and our own aches and pains.
We were fortunate that parking was close to the theater and our chosen lunch spot. As we navigated the crowded New York sidewalks, we were accessorized with what has become essentials for day trips, a cane, a walking stick and a wheelchair.
By the end of the day the two of us that whined the most about the early start and often whine and complain of our bad knees, felt like we were athletic rock stars for the day. I found myself very aware and grateful for the blessing of my “good peasant stock”. To quote a friend, it’s like a “God Giggle”. God tweaked my nose saying, “See, you’re not doing so badly after all, stop whining about your aging body. Move along.”
There can be heartfelt conflict in taking ‘me’ time. There are days when I need to escape from the matriarchal mothering demands of my multigenerational household, as do more than a few of my friends in this very special group of strong women.
“I will go before you and make the crooked places straight.” Isaiah 45: 2
"Forever we will be true!"