We first came together around Christmas, and then a simple game of dice.
Strangers at first, we wondered what we had in common beyond modest new houses we needed to turn into homes.
But on the second Wednesday of every month, we gathered.
We talked. We ate. We played. We laughed. We competed. We fought. We cried.
And before much time had passed, we found ourselves immersed in one another's lives.
We shared in birth and death, celebrated success and tended illness, mourned endings and marked the passage of life -- together.
Some years, I lived for that night, once a month, never soon enough, just to spend a few hours with the women.
And now the time has come. We have moved away and moved on -- and we lack the energy to include new faces into our once tightknit group.
But this forward movement (progress we call it?) tastes bittersweet. For without my women, the movement wouldn't have been possible.
And now, once a month, I will find a hole in my schedule that nothing else will ever fill in quite the same way.
At the end, words fail me. But I know my women will speak in my heart forever.