Thanks Carol for another interesting Story Challenge!

2008 was the year we celebrated our 50th birthdays. Janis, Cindi, and I. Girlfriends for 30 years.
Buddy and I hosted a five day reunion in Montana for all our families and friends. Nearly 50 people flew in from around the country and combined with our local friends and neighbors we were our own clan. We saw the sights, enjoyed great dining, and partied the nights away as if we were still in our 20's.

We recently celebrated our 60th birthdays and Janis's retirement in Texas. Smaller scale but every bit as fun. There were many recollections and references to the 50th party and we are already planning for our 70th.

Following is a copy of the letter I wrote to Cindi and Janis expressing our collective thoughts about friendships, time, and aging. I was so touched when touring Janis's new home and saw the original letter framed and hung near her desk.

Dear Cindi and Janis,
Cheers to our extraordinary birthday celebration! Commemorating 50 years young together is something we will remember and laugh about for years to come.

I want to thank you both for the wonderful friendships you have shared with me these years. We have journeyed together along life's path, sometimes side by side and others at a distance, but our paths always find a course to reconnect. I would not be the woman I am today without you both in my life.

Our friendships remind me of an Old Testament passage from the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 3. I have adapted the original verse a little bit... To everything there is a season
and a time for every purpose under heaven.
Together we have shared the joy of new life,
and suffered dreadful loss at the death of loved ones.
Together we have supported each other's hard work and
ambitions, and been there to bolster each other's healing.
Together we have wept bitterly, and laughed hysterically.
Together we have mourned deeply, and danced merrily.
Together we cast aside useless emotional baggage,
and discovered that love, honesty, and being real are the treasures of life.
Together we learned that hugs are crucial to our well being,
but when all else fails a long distance phone call with a glass of wine works wonders.
Together we have experienced gains and losses,
we have clung to some of life's possessions and casually thrown others away,
and we have seen tragedies that tore the fabric of our lives asunder only to be re-sown by the faith that we have in each other.
As friends, we know when to be silent and withhold our opinion,
and we know when our words are most needed.
Together we have gained wisdom and knowledge about life, love, family, and friendship.
We have chosen to live peacefully with ourselves and those we love,
because we understand that our lives
are too short for anger, discontent, and hate. Together we've realized that living and aging surrounded by good friends is an integral aspect of the season of life.
Thanks for everything that's made us friends and for everything yet to come.
TFL and reading my story!

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