|Sherryl Woods (photo from website)|
The original Sweet Magnolias — Maddie, Helen and Dana Sue — were childhood friends who stuck by each other through thick and thin, but over the course of the series, just like all of us in real life, they’ve welcomed newcomers to the fold. They’ve even become multi-generational as their daughters and even a few local seniors have been included in their famed margarita nights.
For someone like me, who grew up in a suburb of Washington, DC where military families and, therefore, friends came and went, friendships have always been vitally important in my life. I hang onto the people I love for dear life, keeping in touch despite time and distance.
Lately, though, I’ve been through a period when the loss of dear friends has been more permanent. I have to say it’s come as a disconcerting shock to realize that I’m now at an age when I’m more likely to lose someone to death than a cross-country move.
This is a transition we all must face eventually. As a minister friend points out to me, the cycle of life is inevitable. That doesn’t mean we have to like it, but we do have to learn to deal with the grief and move on. And it’s at times like these that the friends left behind mean more than ever. They provide support and comfort and much-needed laughter amid the tears.
Over the years I’ve been around many people who’ve lived well into their 80s and 90s. One thing they’ve all agreed on is that outliving their contemporaries is tough. From them, I’ve learned to make a decided effort to include a lot of younger people in my circle of friends, just as the Sweet Magnolias have done in these books. It’s something you might want to consider as well.
Because as our lives inevitably change, as people come and go whatever the reason, friendships matter more than ever. I hope your circle of friends is large, that it includes young and old, and that you remember each and every day how those you love enrich your life. In other words, I wish you your own group of Sweet Magnolias!