That’s today, the first Sunday in August. On this occasion, we’re encouraged to celebrate the concept called sisterhood. It’s a murky notion, frankly, encompassing all varieties of female relationships: everything from the familial to religious to a like-minded affinity.
Now, I have a sister. Birth records support the biological link, but I really question the genetics. One of us is a foundling, I’m sure. We’re nothing alike. My mother, naturally, dismissed my suspicions out of hand, rolling her eyes whenever I cast doubts on the sibling kinship. I found her reaction both unconvincing and insulting. Birth certificates can be doctored, you know, just ask Donald ‘Birther’ Trump.
Being the first-born, my sister had basked in only child status for two glorious years. She’d been doted on and catered to, adored and pampered, the sole focus of attention. Then I came along and crashed her little party. Outraged at the intrusion, she decided payback was called for. My sister’s sole purpose in life thus became making me so miserable I’d run away.
Well, fine, game on. She could beat on me until the cows came home. She could set me up, terrorize me, and deliver regular pastings, I wasn’t going anywhere; I learned to take a punch, instead. And developed an abnormal talent for endurance along the way. Maybe I should be grateful, since a dogged nature has proven useful, but I’m not.
The sisters I am grateful to are the Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis. Twice, now, those selfless, warmhearted souls have saved my life — and I’m not even Catholic. I just keep showing up in their Emergency Room, broken and uncooperative, and they keep taking me in. No questions asked.
The women who manage my apartment building did the same thing. I showed up and they took me in, although, yes, they had a few questions — the usual ones about criminal history and creditworthiness. Even so, they’ve shown me nothing but kindness. Kindness I’d neither earned nor deserved. Because of them I have a place to call home, a place to belong. It’s a lovely feeling, this contentment.
Those are the sisters to whom I pay tribute today. I might not be graced with brains or coordination or good fortune, but I have those fine, caring women to protect me from my own stoopidity. ¹ Imagine what a disheartening proposition that is. Oy.
copyright © 2017 the whirly girl
¹ This is a heavily revised and edited post from 2016. My sister hasn’t changed, so I didn’t see any reason to do a complete rewrite. I did update the details, though. That should count for something :o)