I sure do envy those women in the movie though. M'Lynn, Truvy, Clairee, Annelle and Ouiser. Oh I do love Ouiser. And the scene after the funeral when M'Lynn is crying and angry and says she just wants to hit something and Clairee says, "You want to hit something, here, hit Ouiser!" If you've seen the movie you know exactly why that is so funny! I don't think I have ever had that kind of friendship with a group of women. I have some terrific friends, but it always seem to be one-on-one and sometimes sporadic. I think it would be amazing to have a community of friends, where when one is weak another can pick up the slack and be strong.
I guess I have never really had any real close friends. I love my parents dearly and some of you have read my tributes to them and know some of our struggles; but as a child of alcoholics you learn to rely on yourself. And when you never really know what will be waiting for you at home, you are very careful who you allow to come over. For years my best friends were my dog Holly and my radio. I think that is why I have such a love for music; it was such a comfort and solace to me. I remember many a time sitting on the back step with my dog, huddled together. Or sitting in my room in the dark, listening to the radio looking out the window at the house up the hill where the 'normal' family lived. I'm not looking for pity here; just laying the foundation for why it has always been so hard for me to make friends. I was pretty much taking care of myself at an early age. Yes my needs were supplied, but I was on my own most of the time. I had no true confidants, no real close buddies. I learned to be self-reliant and not dependent on anyone. Not emotionally, not physically, nothing.
Makes it hard to get to know someone like that. I was closed off. Introverted. Cautious. Withdrawn. My relationships with men were for one thing only; I needed to know I was loved. Now I know that wasn't love. And my relationships with other women were totally shallow, and even that is exaggerating the depth of them.
As I have gotten older and the Lord has healed those broken places in my heart I have come to realize how much I have missed out on. I have missed the camaraderie and companionship of other women. I have missed just being at ease with other women and enjoying laughter and tears with them. I have kept my guard up because of those long ago hurts and because of more recent ones by women I had assumed (we all know what that means) were my sisters in the Lord. I have kept my heart closed and my life lonely.
Some things I have learned; Jesus is my best friend. People can't hurt me unless I let them. And when you build up walls to keep people and hurts out, you also have walls that keep people and good things out. You don't appreciate laughter if there have been no tears. The light is so much brighter because of the darkness. And loneliness makes you appreciate the warmth of friendship so much more.
The Lord is doing so much in my life; I am finally hearing and being obedient to some of the things He has called me to do. Some of you know I have some tattoos...however you feel about them, mine all have special meaning to me. After my mom passed away and I sold our family home in Lake Havasu I visited my tattoo guy there and had him do a feather quill and ink pot. Symbolizing a new chapter in my life. Little did I know what was in store!! No longer having my mom to care for. My granddaughter that I watched from 2 months old until she was 4, going to preschool. My husband opening up a shop again, and now after being in business for 2 years it is just he and I. And writing this blog. I am truly blessed. I think what the Lord is saying now is "Trust Me and open up your heart". Oh what hard and scary words. But I am reaching out. I am realizing I am stronger than I thought I was. I have something to offer others, and that is the love of Jesus in me. I am a steel magnolia...I guess here in the southwest though I would be, hmm, let's see. How about a titanium sunflower?? Titanium is very strong and sunflowers are such happy flowers...yep that's it. Titanium Sunflower.
So to those ladies that I call friends, first and foremost forgive me for my lack of attentiveness at times. For my distance and fear of letting you in. For my being too self-reliant and looking like I didn't need what you had to offer. You know who you are. I love you and cherish you and hope that you will join me in this new club...the Titanium Sunflowers!