I believe in Twanda.
I believe in being a good friend.
I believe in dropping everything when someone needs it.
I believe in opening my door even when what lies behind the door is not clean or presentable.
I believe its a crazy mean world out there and there are times when a hug from a friend can make all the difference.
Today was “mom soup” day at my house. It’s my day to cook soup all day. Not multiple pots of soup because I am not that efficient, but one ginormous pot of soup that cooks all day long and has everything but the kitchen sink in it. We tried to give it a name, something simple like chicken soup, but there are so many ingredients and they change each time so we settled on “mom soup” to make it easier on everyone.
I started at eight thirty this morning after I dropped my three kiddos off at school. Thankfully there was little kid drama in my house this morning so I could get right to cooking. As soon as I walked back in the door, I stated to get the chicken out. I have sworn off canned broth. I start with the whole chicken…yes, giblet thingys and all, and cooked in my big pot with lots of veggies to make up a nice broth. I had no sooner opened up my chicken today when the phone rang. I thought it was my mom since she likes to check in each morning to see what my day has planned. I could digress right here and talk about what it’s like to move closer to family after decades away but I will save blogging about mom for another day and just get on with this.
Anyhoo…the phone rang and it wasn’t my mom at all. It was a mom-friend of mine. I have to add right here that I don’t use the word “friend” lightly. Real friends are the key to life and I make sure those I add to my life are good people to have around. I adore my friends and keep them close but I also am pretty good in my older years at weeding out the divas and keeping the slogbags. I don’t do selfish and I don’t do mean. It’s a quality over quantity thing for me. I have no qualms with walking away from friends who love drama more than friendship, who concentrate on strife and stirring the pot more than kindness. Life is just too short to surround yourself with volatility and destruction. I’m just not having it.
Many of my friends, I’m proud to say, have progressed well out of slogbag-dom better than I have and dress and shower with regularity. For myself, since it was mom soup day, I was of course unshowered. I was dressed which was good and I was not in my pink flannel jammies, which was even better, but I was still in my flannel shirt and sweats and my hair was in the regulation slogbag pony tail. It is what it is and I don’t try to fight it. I am comfortable with my slogbag self and my friend was not put off by it at all.
She is a Twanda friend.
When I first heard her voice, I could tell she was not herself. She was not over the edge at all but there was a tone in her voice that I recognized. That tone that notifies someone when you are just not quite you, that life is rolling over you and you just need a reality check from a friend. When I asked where she was I found she was not too far from my home so I told her to just come on by and hang with me. I was kind enough to warn her that I was unshowered, the kitchen was in upheaval with all of the soup ingredients and that I would leave the door unlocked since my hands were currently scooping the mucky giblets out of the chicken. I actually did not give her all the gory details but told her she would need to step over Maisy girl when she walked in since the lab was taking a nap on the rug by the front door.
In no time, my friend was sitting at my kitchen counter and we were having us a little chat and it made me smile because, to me, that is what the sisterhood is all about. It’s about being there, unscheduled and half dressed as it may be, for a sister when she needs you. It’s about opening your house up even when the bed may not be made and the bathroom is still littered with cat litter because the cat lives here too. I don’t have any biological sisters but I have been so blessed with the sisters that have joined my life along the way. I have had the pleasure of living in a fair amount of states in this country and I am proud to have sisters in each. Some of my sisters are from way back in my childhood, but some of my best sisters are somewhat new and they are from Jersey, some from Ohio, some from California, some from Mississippi and the most recent sisters I left behind are from Florida.
Twanda was something that stuck like glue with me from the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes, and, to me, it seems like a battle cry we sisters have for one another. Twanda friends stick together, band together and do not let ego or vanity come in between friendships and sisters in need. Twanda friends step up in the bad times, open doors even when the house is not quite at its best and they show up to our rescue even when our request is unscheduled or inconvenient. Twanda friends even answer the phone at two a.m with a smile in their voice, trying hard not to sound like they just woke up, and they even assure you they were already awake so you’ll feel better.
Crisis and pain don’t happen with schedules and most of the ups and downs hit with some sudden and unexpected force. I love The Slogbag Sisterhood Twanda friends because they are the ones I can call on and they won’t tell me they are busy, they won’t ask me what I want….they will ask what I need and how they can help. They will laugh with me even when the world seems dark. I love that about Twanda friends. The part that amazes me most is that in those moments when autism may be kicking me in the back side and getting me down, my Twanda friends understand and support me even when they may not get everything about autism. Honestly, who does get EVERYTHING about autism? Twanda friends make it all better just by being there…whether it’s over a pot of soup or a garden of weeds, a cup of coffee or a walk around the block. Being there is what matters.
Life can be a tough place so be careful out there and keep your Twanda friends close 🙂