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by Vidya Sury December 12, 2011 12 comments
Oh yes. The more I think about it, the more reassuring/funny/soothing it gets. And I owe it all to my girlfriends.  I’ve connected with some truly wonderful people during the last few months (you know who you are) and I am tremendously enjoying conversations with them. I love how I can keep in touch over email with them – it is as exciting as it used to be, years ago. (Thanks Rachel!) Thanks to technology, I no longer need to bug the postman every day to find out if he has a letter for me. Besides being beautiful people, both inside and out, these ladies are also fantastic writers and I really look forward to seeing their email updates and then, heading straight over to their blogs. I feel blessed to know them.

Today, I am not going to look for a picture for my post, because I’ve got a really cute guest over from Terri’s blog. His name is Fred. Here he is and he’s looking for a party – any time, Fred!

I believed in Santa, when I was little. Like 5 years old. I seriously believed that the pillow covers I thoughtfully hung up, thinking a stocking would be too small were filled by him. Poor Mom. Santa got all the credit. Just like when a tooth fell off, and I wrapped it in paper and put it under my pillow, I believed the tooth fairy replaced it with gifts. I later realized the tooth fairy was really my Mom.

I enjoyed Christmas until I was 15 because I studied in Christian schools. I sang hymns and carols better than our own Hindu stuff and made the sign of the cross each time we entered a temple. I attended early morning mass every day during my sixth grade, because it was infinitely more peaceful at 6 am than fight over who could use  the bathroom first or grab the mug of water or argue over who would make the beds. All in good fun. I had the same wonderful feeling when I visited my school in Mumbai last year. Here’s the church:

Mount Mary’s Church, Bandra, Mumbai

And here is the school:

Mount Mary School, Bandra, Mumbai

Until my fourth grade, the teachers at my school would bring Christmas cakes home. Without eggs, because we were vegetarian. Was I special, you may ask. Um…yes, I guess. But they did it out of love and the strong relationship that had developed over the years. My Mom not only went to the same school as a child but later, worked here too. My fourth grade teacher was hers, too. Later this teacher was also my guardian in my sixth grade when I studied in boarding school that year in a different city. I feel so nice to think about her. Imagine – we knew her through two generations and even after our family moved from the city, my uncles would still keep in touch with her because she became a family friend.

I am also thinking of my girlfriends who’ve been in my life for so many decades now – that’s saying a lot and I cherish the love so much. It is such a warm feeling to know that we are all accessible to each other and can just converse as though our last conversation was a few minutes ago.

This reminds me of a lovely forward I received many years ago. I’ve published it before on this blog, and I’d like to share it here again. Big hug to whoever wrote it, because it is so true and so nicely expressed and it sums up girlfriends to a G. My mother used to tell me much the same thing bless her soul.

….. I sat on the porch overlooking a beautiful mountain lake on a summer day, enjoying a glass of wine with my Mom. Older than me, mother of four, experienced and wise.

“Get yourself some girlfriends,” she advised, swirling the wine in her glass. “You are going to need girlfriends. Go places with them, do things with them.”

What a funny piece of advice, I thought.

Hadn’t I just gotten married? Hadn’t I just joined the couple-world? I was a married woman, for goodness sake, not a young girl who needed girlfriends. But I listened to my Mom and I got back in touch with my old girlfriends of years long gone. As the years tumbled by, one after another, gradually I came to understand that

Mom knew what she was talking about.

Here is what I know about them:

Girlfriends bring casseroles and scrub your bathroom when you are sick.

Girlfriends keep your children and keep your secrets.

Girlfriends give advice when you ask for it.

Sometimes you take it, sometimes you don’t.

Girlfriends don’t always tell you that you’re right, but they’re usually honest.

Girlfriends still love you, even when they don’t agree with your choices.

Girlfriends might send you a birthday card, but they might not. It does not matter in the least.

Girlfriends laugh with you, and you don’t need canned jokes to start the laughter.

Girlfriends pull you out of jams.

Girlfriends don’t keep a calendar that lets them know who hosted the other last.

Girlfriends will give a party for your son or daughter when they get married or have a baby, in whichever order that comes!

And girlfriends are there for you, in an instant and truly, when the hard times come.

Girlfriends listen when you lose a job or a husband.

Girlfriends listen when your children break your heart.

Girlfriends listen when your parents minds and bodies fail.

My girlfriends bless my life. Once we were young, with no idea of the incredible joys or the incredible sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we would need each

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

Agree, girlfriends?

Vidya Sury

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Terri Sonoda December 12, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Hi Vidya. I was wondering where Fred went! And keep him as long as you want. He can be quite the nuisance.
I love your pictures and your beautiful words about your life. Thank you for taking us through some of your journey. Your words about girlfriends were so very touching and so true!
My favorite line in the whole post?
“Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.”
Couldn’t agree more!
Hugs my friend. Have a beautiful day.

Vidya Sury December 12, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Yep Terri, I love that line too! I hope you’re not missing Fred. I can tell he’s having a great time!

My Inner Chick December 13, 2011 at 1:27 am

I agree… My best girlfriend was Kay…and this is one of the reasons I feel so alone at times. We all need somebody to tell our secrets to, laugh with, cry with, pray with, and talk about our men to!
Men cannot fulfill this void.

Love to you, Dearest. Xx
that church is AMAZING.

Rachel @ Totally Ovar It December 13, 2011 at 1:45 am

I love this post, Vidya. It has a truly beautiful sentiment. It brings tears to my eyes, reading the definition of a girlfriend, as I’ve had so few in my life. Thank you for posting this, it will be forever with me.

Vidya Sury December 13, 2011 at 3:36 am

Kim, I know what you mean. I still talk to my Mom in my mind because no one can replace her. And yes, men are different, because sometimes they just don’t get it. They are not equipped to get it. 🙂 That church represents many hours of peace for me. 🙂 and I felt the same way when I saw it, more than 35 years later. Hugs, I always look forward to your comment!

Vidya Sury December 13, 2011 at 3:37 am

Thank you, Rachel. My eyes were not dry when I wrote it, because in my mind, there was lots more than the words here. Hugs.

sheila December 13, 2011 at 11:24 am

this is a wonnnnnnnnnnnnderful post! LOVE it! Love the pics too and LOL on the pillowcase instead of the stocking, hahahaha!

Betsy at Zen-Mama December 13, 2011 at 1:56 pm

What a beautiful list Vidya and so true. I don’t have a lot of close friends that I see all the time but I know that many of them are there for me when ever I need them. Great pictures. Love hearing about your school experience, too!

Vidya Sury December 13, 2011 at 11:41 am

Thank you, Sheila. Thing is – always saw Santa as a fat man and figured his hand wouldn’t fit in my stocking 😀

Vidya Sury December 13, 2011 at 2:09 pm

🙂 Yes Betsy, I feel blessed to think I’ve done most of those things with my friends….and even though we’re scattered all over the world now, we feel the warmth and know we’re there for each other.

BLOGitse December 14, 2011 at 8:21 am

Dear Vidya,
THANK YOU so much for letting me know about the problem with my openID link!
I do believe you’re a very good friend with all the people who are part of your life. You care.
Thank you and all the best!
ps. Your post is excellent excample of your warmth and care…

Vidya Sury December 14, 2011 at 10:20 am

Thanks, BLOGitse! 🙂 So many kind words – am touched!


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