I was so bowled over by well wishes for my birthday that I decided to add an extra day to the calendar in February just to celebrate longer. Having been around for nearly six decades and having moved often I accumulated a lot of acquaintances. Though I hate the impersonal nature of the Internet, it miraculously allows me to reconnect with friends from past lives.
I never carry a purse (too hard on the back) instead I wear pockets. Though I may forget to carry cash or identity papers (Americans struggle to develop the habit of toting passports), I never leave behind valuables. Instead of money, I stash friendships in my pouches and pull out memories of each to help me through tough times.
My pocketbook may be empty, but my pockets are overflowing. And birthdays, as reluctant as we are to have them in midlife, give us a time to reconnect and reflect on the wonderful people in our lives. Those reminders are especially valuable when facing isolation due to pain, loss or health setbacks like I did recently.
We all belong to circles. And we don’t need Google+ to remind us.
Growing up as one of 4 siblings only 5 years apart, we shared cars, clothes and playmates. When I need a lift, I think of my old neighborhood gang back in the day when it was safe to play outside even after the streetlights came on.
How could I ever forget my college roomies, the family, who shared that magical time transitioning from childhood and adulthood when all dreams seemed possible. One of whom sketched cards to pick me up in tough times and made me laugh everyday with her creative zest for life. Or the teammates, who picked off pesky defenders, set up perfect plays and had my back literally every time I drove to the hoop.
Or my international friends from the Land Down Under, to the City of Lights, to Berlin to my peeps here in Geneva. And all those basketball buddies – coaches, teammates, players throughout the decades – whose lives intersected mine in gymnasiums around the globe.
How could I forget my writer friends who reach out through their words? Those women on the Midlife Boulevard whose wisdom helps me navigate the perils of middle age. And to my reader friends that make this blog buzz.
Long ago I pitched my purses, but I keep my homies close by tucked in my hoody. They understand my past growing up on main street in the Heartland.
In my front jacket pocket, I tote new friends; in my back jeans pocket I carry old pals. And in my breast pocket, close to my heart, I hold loved ones who have been with me every step of the way, those sisters and brothers who held me up through tragedy. And triumph.
Thanks for filling my pockets with memories, for touching my life. Your birthday wishes reminded me how blessed I am to be around for another year.
My mom taught me early on that even though every day can’t be my own birthday, each day is a gift. The secret to a happy life is learning to share in other people’s joy. Join in someone else’s celebration. Share the laughter. Spread the love.
Cheers! Here’s to all of you!
Cheers to you, Pat. Carrying memories in our pockets keeps our loved ones close to us. I love the visual. 🙂 Your post also prompted me to remember streetlights — that was our signal to come inside from playing, when they went on. I had forgotten about that!
Oh yes, Helene, and do you also remember the delicious sense of freedom we felt on those rare occasions when we were allowed to stay out just a little bit later after the streetlight came on. Thanks for helping fill my pockets with your friendship.
I love your pocket analogy. As far as your mom’s teachings go, well, she was a sage! And that’s why you have a great attitude, I’ll bet. We become what we see growing up.
Carol, I am sure you are right. My mom always encouraged me to see the best in people and to forgive.
Great article, great memories, and pockets full of yockways!
Thanks. I will carry that image of pockets full of yockways with me forever.
Friendship is LOVE IN ACTION! Super Blog stirring a trip “down memory lane”. Thank you!
So blessed to be making the journey of life with you at my side.
Thanks sis for filling all my pockets with love and laughter!
What a delightful post! I loved reading every word. Count me as one of the midlife friends on Facebook. Brenda
Thanks Brenda and of course I am grateful for your friendship and wisdom on this journey.
What a great post, Pat! May your pockets always be filled with good and kind-hearted friends!
And of course I have a special pocket for my soul sistahs.
Pat, I’m glad your birthday was wonderful — hope the entire year is! I hadn’t thought about purses being hard on backs, but I trust you. Now I’m going to be looking for more clothing with pockets! By the way, ’tis March Madness over here, and I so wish you could see some of the games — these kids can PLAY!!
Thanks Debbie. Unfortunately purses pull on the shoulder and make me feel lopsided. Back packs are better if you can keep the weight balanced. i sure wish I could be stateside for March Madness. My family updates me on games during weekend calls, and I check the brackets, but it is not the same as actually being there to watch one great game after another.
Your pockets are indeed bursting with memories and friends, Pat. Love that image and wish you deep pockets and many more sweet memories.
I am sending you pockets full of love and courage as you face your next challenge. Be brave my friend.
Thank you, my dear friend. Your support means the world to me