Tuesdays Von Dutch: The Ya-Ya’s

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The weather was beautiful today. The baby and I had a great day today with all the Dutch ladies at my grandmother’s house. (Every Tuesday my grandmother’s Dutch friends come over for coffee and goodies and to chat about anything and everything). It was an extra special day today for many reasons too. First, it was the first time since I injured my back that i’ve been able to venture out of the house with the baby to my grandmother’s for one of her Dutch Tuesdays. Second, it was one of the lady’s 96th birthday! Third, it was the day to honor Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands abdicating her throne to her son. Our 96 year old was decked out in a feathery boa in customary Holland orange and we watched video online of the royal ceremony.

It was so nice to see all of the ladies again and some of the new faces that are coming now that I hadn’t met before. Years ago when work had cut everyone’s hours to save money I picked Tuesday as my day off each week so I could see everyone and it was so much fun. I can’t always understand everything they’re saying but I follow along well enough to get it.

They doted on the baby and she just took it all in; smiling at everyone. She spent most of the day looking like she was trying to concentrate on what they were saying. I think with much more of these visits and she may become pretty well versed in Dutch. Or at least be able to understand it…and maybe better than me!

One thing about friendship is the knowledge that everyone is together and able to share in the joy even though they are each fighting their own battles. With friendship like this, everyone knows each other’s issues and what troubles they are going through and they can cry with you through the bad times and can still make each other smile and find the good and the reason to be happy despite it all. These particular friends have been getting together for years and years and I imagine there’s not much they don’t share with one another. They are a Ya-Ya Sisterhood of sorts.

In our group we have a woman who is raising a special needs child, a woman who just lost her husband to Alzheimer’s, a woman who is living with her daughter and is not able to see her other daughter because of their feelings toward each other, a woman who is that woman’s daughter and can only see her mother on these Tuesdays when her mother can get away, a couple of women who have children that have cut them out of their lives, etc.  There are other things of course but I think you get the idea.

After many of the woman left in the afternoon the last remained. The discussion turned to family and she became very sad trying to talk about her family situation. Listening to her cry about how she has children that refuse to be in her life and grandchildren that she has not seen, it was hard not to feel her pain but also somehow relieving to know that this type of thing happens in lots of families. And I guess that’s what true friendship is about. Being about to talk about your joys and woes and having someone be able to be there, listen, talk you through it and then remind you of all you have to be happy about. It’s weird how hurt can sometimes feel less painful when you know you’re not the only one. My family has endured the same thing over the years and may never be fully pieced back together.

Spending a day with everyone and knowing they’re all going through their own individual difficulties but can still come together and share in the good times; laugh at each other; console one another; be happy; It’s refreshing to see. It’s a joy to see that even at 96 you can still be surrounded by love and those that love you and enjoy life despite set backs and trials that may try with everything they have to make you unhappy. It’s refreshing to know my grandmother has such good friends in her corner. It’s a honor to know these people myself and be able to spend time with them again and now also to have my baby be there too to celebrate this circle of friendship. I hope she can enjoy it now, remember it later, and appreciate all that it was able to teach her about the value of true friendship.

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