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Old friends are the best friends

Old friends are the best friends

There is an adage that old friends are the best friends.  I've never been entirely sure how to interpret this: does it mean that the attachments you've had for the longest are the greatest or is it referring to the affinity you have with people of a certain, more senior age?  It could probably mean either but for me, and for the purpose of today's post,  I'm going with the latter.

The beautiful, silver-haired, sparkly-eyed lady on the right is Winnie.  She's 85, my neighbour and one of my bestest friends in the whole, wide world. We started chatting over the garden fence, as congenial neighbours do, and before long I found myself in Winnie's living room, sat before a roaring coal fire eating homemade rock buns.  Even writing this makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and happy inside!  I feel that way every time I hang out with my oldest bestie which is usually on a Tuesday afternoon (because I don't work Tuesday afternoons) and a Sunday evening (we enjoy watching Downtown and Mr Selfridge together.)

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Winnie is one of life's pure souls and reminds me so very much of my Granny Soutar, my mum's mum who died in 1995 at the age of 82.  Both ladies were dedicated to their families and when they were no longer able to take care of their  husbands at home (Winnie's John battled Parkinsons and my grandad suffered a debilitating stroke) they diligently and loyally made their way to the nursing homes every day to visit their beloved companions, come rain or shine.  I often drove Winnie over to Symphony House to see John and would pop in with her now and again.  I loved watching them together. Winnie adored John and John adored Winnie.  After almost 60 years together they remained completely  and utterly devoted to one another, unconditionally.  John passed away in August of last year just a few weeks shy of their 60th wedding anniversary.  As you would expect, Winnie still misses him terribly.  She will often say however, her eyes welling with tears, how lucky and blessed she feels to have had that wonderful man in her life for so many years: a loving and steadfast husband, doting dad to Peter and Michael and, most important of all, quite the dab hand at DIY!

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On more than one occasion Winnie has turned to me and said "I don't know why you bother with an old gal like me".  Well, Winnie, I bother because I love you.  I bother because you bring joy, wisdom and a much needed sense of peace and calm to my life.  I bother because you listen, encourage, advise but never, ever judge.  

And I like your rock buns.

Ginger Warrior, over and out.

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8 Comments

  1. So glad you mentioned Granny Soutar in this blog as Winnie reminds me of her. Our gran was one special lady with a fantastic outlook on life xx

  2. A perfect desciption of one of this worlds ‘true originals’. I miss our weekend chats over the garden wall, but always remember that everytime you said “I’ve got something for you” I’d say “is it a cake?”

    We love you too Winnie (and your baking)

    Happy (belated) birthday
    AGPM xxxx

  3. I loved this post! What a charming lady! I just met our neighbor a few houses down who lost her husband to Alzheimers this summer. She is spunky, lovely and has traveled the world. I am so glad that I just decided to bother her one day with an unexpected visit. Cheers to “old friends”

  4. There’s a lesson here for all of us. My grandmother said to me “Always make sure you have younger friends, otherwise you’ll be terribly lonely when you get to my age”; I’ve always tried to have friends across the widest age range. If we treat everyone as an equal, who just happens to have been born before / after we were, we find that age is not a barrier at all. Winnie is lucky to have you as a close friend; but you’re also lucky to have her!

  5. OH how I loved this post! it made me all emotional. Winnie is adorable and I echo your exact sentiments. Some of those dearest friends to my heart are all of old age. Perhaps that is why I am so touched by Winnie and your friendship. I find it sad when I hear others say, that there is no reason to make relationships with those of a different age, because there is no common ground! How absurd. How grateful I am to such beautiful old wrinkly friends who have taught me so much and touched my heart forever. There is such a beauty that lies in each aged face and so many stories to be told in the lines of there battered hands. Endearing, and unforgettable.

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