Sunday, September 26, 2010

16 years, the mountains, and life-giving laughter

Sixteen years sounds like a long time. Sixteen years ago I had no idea that the girls I was meeting would be some of the most important and influential people in my life. Sixteen years ago I met women of faith, intelligence and, above all, humor, wit and determination. Sixteen years ago, the 14 of us established the beginnings of friendships I will take to my grave. (But let's not get morbid.)

This weekend, eight of those lovely ladies headed to the Denver area and together with the unsinkable Natalee, we scurried away to the mountains. What followed was four days of a lot of laughter, some tears, a bit of shopping, considerable junk food, little sleep, late-night games (butt-charades, anyone?) and non-stop conversation.

Our accommodations were spectacular (but that's what you can have when you visit Keystone in the off-season) and we enjoyed a spacious penthouse condo with a hot tub and steam room. But it doesn't really matter where we are or what the space is like - there is something extremely luxurious about being with women who know you. REALLY know you. They know where you've been and where you are. They know the struggles and joys that accompany where you are in life. And, above all, they come to a weekend with an arsenal of memories to relive that throw you into the silent tear-inducing, side-splitting, oxygen-depriving laughter that seems to recharge your inner batteries.

Last night, when I called home to say goodnight to the kids, I told them I loved them. Donovan responded, "I know, Mommy. I can feel your love in my heart right now."

After hours and days of conversation, I'm ready to return to the "Do you need to go potty?" and "Can I help you with your homework?" and "It's time to clean your room." I feel infinitely blessed and grateful for having these women in my life. So thank you, Melinda, Natalee, Sarah, Beda, Jill, Natalie, Khirstin, Tennille, and Margo. (and Anne, Heather F, Heather L, and Sunny - we missed you terribly) Just...thank you.

And thank you to a husband who knows how much these friends mean to me and sends me off. He knows that this weekend is beyond a girls night out or a weekend away. It is a spa for my spirit, and I am grateful that he knows that.

My cheeks still hurt from smiling. My sides still hurt from laughing. But my heart...well, I guess Donovan said it best. I can feel their love in my heart right now, and I hope they can feel mine.


Tennille said...

Very nicely put.

Anne said...

so sad i wasn't there. never thought i would miss one but, alas, such is life. i am already excited for the next one. great post.

Nataluscious said...

For some reason I'm having the hardest time with this year's reunion being over (maybe because it caps off a mad dash of trips?). But your post made me teary. I love you dearly. Let's do pizza and bread pudding (well for you and Bryan - I'll take something chocolate) really really [really!] soon!

Margo said...

With tears in my eyes...thanks...I love you dearly. What an amazing time with amazing women. love ya.