Once a month, I get together with a group of friends for breakfast.  We meet at Caroline’s condo and take turns bringing the food.  This is about more than breakfast, as most gatherings of friends are more about being together.  We started this when my son died and they wanted to be there for me.  We hadn’t been getting together on a regular basis and found we were missing each other, so we made it a regular event.  This is our safe place where we can laugh and cry together.  Sometimes we spend the whole morning on one person’s life crisis, another time we gossip the morning away.  There is always too much to talk about and the rule is that this is a place where you can say anything and it won’t go anywhere else. We laugh until we cry, we cry and hug each other, we pray together, we say horrible things, we worry for each other, and we look forward to the next time.

And, the food is always delicious!  We try recipes, we pamper ourselves with food we wouldn’t fix otherwise.  Even the most routine breakfast is special…maybe because of the company.

I’ve known Caroline since kindergarten, when I was four and she was five.  We were in school all the way through college together – my only friend who shares that distinction.

Tucky and I met when I was 9…we were playing in a golf tournament.

Jeanne was in my 7th grade class (I was 11 at the start of that year) and we went all the way through high school together.

I met Susan when she was in 7th grade and I was in 8th.

Debby was in Susan’s class, but I didn’t get to know her until high school.

Jody and I became friends our sophomore year in college and ended up rooming together our senior year until I got married.

That is a lot of shared history.  We have all married, raised kids, and some of us have grandkids.  Some of us still work.  Only one of us is still married.  Three of us are widows and three are divorced.  One of us has had cancer and I’ve lost my husband and son to that horrible disease.  We’ve helped each other through surgeries, worked together as volunteers, carpooled, partied, and know way too much about each other.

Friends who are your age are different than friends who are younger or older.  You share the same place in the history of the world, you remember the same historical events or events in pop culture from the same age.  You are going through the same body changes.  When you have grown up together, you know the same people, you went to the same events, you listened to the same music, you know each other’s families.  We all need friends from a diversity of ages, but there is something about friends you have known forever that is extremely special.  You know the child in each other that is still underneath the aging skin and the graying (or blonding) hair.  You forgive all the idiosyncrasies and you know where they are coming from.

“Friends are the family we choose.”  I have many groups of friends from different times in my life and all are special.  My Breakfast Club holds a special place in my life, my heart.  Love you girls!