Admittedly, I have taken for granted , and not given enough pause to, a particular group of girls on which I have come to depend. In part, the lack of recognition comes from an assumption that it is obvious how I feel about them, sort of like it is a given that my thighs will touch when standing. But, as my friend Ivy once advised in a letter written to me a few years ago, there is no better time than the present to spill your guts.
You can’t help but collect meaningful friendships as you travel through the stages of life. Some relationships are just for a season, offering companionship and camaraderie meant for just that time. Then there are those that develop a longevity , matured and strengthened by various life experiences.
The NOGS are a group of girls that grew from a common likeness and similar sorority pins fastened to collars. The name started as a silly, insignificant acronym that somehow stuck around longer than the khaki-wearing frat boys we swore would always have our devotion. Happy occasions like graduations, marriages and parenthood transitioned into darker realities like divorces, deaths of family members, and the ugliness of cancer. Through these times, we have seen each other at our best and at our worst and continue to love each other as though we’ve seen neither.
Despite original similarities, each NOG has matured into uniqueness. Tender hearted Susan has more resilience than the seven of us put together. Recent trials have produced in her a strength that is admired by all, and her quick-witted humor continues to catch us all off guard.
Fabulous Tey only gets more beautiful as she ages. A great wife and mom who is committed to her beliefs and faith, she is frivolous and fun, and laughs harder and louder than anyone in the room.
Outrageous Cezanne (dot,dot,dot), who gets away with more than should be reasonably allowed, makes everyone giggle at the absurd. She loves life and lives it to the fullest, spilling joy over to all those in her company.
Loyal Ivy is the voice of reason in the group. The daily pressures of a very public life doesn’t diminish those traits of her personality that endear her to us all. She is trustworthy and reliable and fiercely protective of those she calls friends.
Crazy Susie is always the wild card. Her spontaneity and unpredictability keeps us on our toes and doubled over in laughter. We all carefully watch her just to delight in what might come next.
Funny Tricia makes our hearts sing. She will laugh with you until your guts hurt, but also cry with you because your feelings are. From her we have come to expect the unexpected , and believe that any minute she could do the unbelievable. She is the epitome of a friend.
These are a group of women I have had the privilege to grow with over the last twenty years. We have been together since college days where in class we learned about the concepts of gravity to middle-aged days where said gravity is now proving its concept on our bodies. The closeness developed over time has taken us all by surprise, the same way the parentheses marks between our eyebrows daily astonish us, but it's one we now couldn’t imagine life without.
It’s a friendship started by chance, bounded together by Greek letters, that now continues by choice, bounded together by colorful history, common joy and unabashed affection.