Whenever I get tiny glimpses into the lives of others, I wonder about the tribes they belong to. Do they have friends they can turn to in real life, or are they only connected to an online support community?
If you've been around for any length of time, you know I have some important friends in my life that I refer to as the JUGs – Just Us Girls. I don’t know what I did in life to have these lifelong forever friends, but I thank The Big Guy upstairs daily for these incredible women. There’s nothing more comforting in life than knowing you have people you can count on to make you laugh. That they're there when you need a shoulder to cry on. Or at a moment’s notice, will stop what they’re doing and pray for you should you need.
I've always mentioned the JUGs as a group, but never individually. So without giving away their actual identities that allow these super heroes to move amongst the mere mortals, I thought I’d give you a little insight into who these individual women are.
First a little background. We’re from an area of Southeast Texas known as the Golden Triangle located about 90 from Houston. Our high school, PN-G, was made up of students from two neighboring towns – Port Neches and Groves. We went to elementary and junior high (that’s what it was in our day…no ‘middle school’ for us) in our respective home towns but came together our sophomore year of high school. We were cheerleaders, drill team members, band members and twirlers together. We spent many a night under the Friday Night Lights. In fact the team that movie/show is based on, Odessa Permian, was defeated by our alma mater the PN-G Indians in 1975 in Texas Stadium.
We went to baby ballet together, grew up in the same neighborhoods, walked to school together, were in Blue Birds/Brownies/Girl Scouts together, shared clothes, served in each other’s weddings, helped weather bad relationships. You name it, we were there.
Together we've celebrated births and grieved the loss of parents and siblings. Between the 20 of us, we have 37 children and 10 grandchildren. We take care of our parents who are not as healthy as they once were. Twelve of us still have both our parents while 6 have only one left. Some have never married while others divorced. Some are on second marriages and others are married 25 plus years.
In addition to playing the role of Super Friend, there are 5 teachers, 1 paralegal, 4 in some form in the accounting industry, 1 interior designer, 1 flight attendant, 5 who work in the corporate world, 2 nurses and 1 whom we refer to as The First Lady of --, because her husband is the mayor of the Texas town where they live.
We make time for each other. We so look forward to our bi-annual JUGs weekends. We plan our calendars around them. When we see each other, it’s as if we've never been apart. Our conversations pick up right where we left off. If you ask any of our husbands, they say they’d love to be a fly on the wall for a JUGs weekend but we all know they couldn't handle it. We've shared secrets with each other we’d never tell anyone else on the planet. Actually most of them would faint if they knew exactly just what is shared during those wine drinking, pajama wearing, late night conversations!
I wish each of you could walk in my shoes during one of these weekends. Everyone should be allowed to feel what it’s like to have a support system as wonderful as the JUGs. I know I’ll never be able to properly thank these women for what they've contributed to my life. I can only hope they know just how special and loved they are.
Do you have people in your life you feel the same about? If so, please tell me about them. I’d love to know there are other groups of women out there building each other up. Make it a point to call a friend to tell them how special they are to you.
Have a great weekend, y’all!