“Am I forgetting something?” are the words I muttered throughout my house as I was packing for a recent girls’ getaway. Something felt a bit too simple, mundane even, while packing only for myself. I was used to double checking a lengthy list and confirming I had packed enough diapers to last me a whole trip, but there were no diapers, no kids’ clothing or little shoes. This suitcase, the only suitcase, belonged to me.
Nineteen years ago, I met two of my college roommates at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania. Ro was my randomly selected freshman year roommate (in an all girls dorm) and Jess lived in another building, but we all became fast friends and ultimately all lived together the last half of college.
We have always maintained a pact that we would make time to see each other, no matter what’s happening in our lives. And we’ve done that…for nineteen years and counting. These are more than just simple get togethers or vacations with friends. The time we spend with each other breaks us away from our daily lives as mothers and brings us back to our old selves for a bit and allows us to celebrate life with the people who know us best. As children, we were not given any sisters, but as adults, that’s what we became for each other.
We are spread out between New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida, but we always find a way to be together at least once a year. This was an easy task when we hit life milestones like weddings and baby showers. As time goes on, the logistics are harder to plan but when we finally make it happen, it feels like we can conquer the world.
When we are together, we do what we love: laugh. No piles of laundry are haunting us, no babies are crying at our feet and we feel okay with taking a hiatus from motherhood for a few days. These are not simply girlfriends who I want in my life. They are the ones who I need. We believe in each other, even at our worst. We support each other. We have the most comical group chat that would make even Seinfeld laugh. We do not, and will not, judge each other for the decisions we make as mothers and as women.
They are the ones who are there… always. They are the ones who traveled far and wide to get to me when my mother died to simply show up on my doorstep and say, “Just tell us what to do” and held my hand while I saw my mother’s body in a coffin for the first time. They are my tall glass of wine on a rough night and my big cup of coffee for a much needed wake up call.
Maybe the universe wanted us together because of how well we balance each other. We told stories in our sweats at night, divulged in life’s deepest gossip, and admitted to life’s complications. We remember our old selves when we are with each other and salute the women and mothers we have become. We allow our old selves to parade around a bit in pretty clothes and make-up while leaving them behind when we pack up after our time together. Time away with each other is exactly what every woman needs with her friends, her sisters, before reality lurks its ugly head and before we have to carry the heavy load of motherhood once we return home.
These are my sisters, the women I love, the ones I trust and the friends who are in my heart forever. “Am I forgetting something?” Nope.