In the days when my country’s people were not free, a magnificent resistance song echoed from the darkness. It was one of many awe-inspiring resistance songs, but it was particularly glorious because it rose from the gentle but resilient throats of women. At its refrain, it roars: you strike the women, you strike the rock.

This is not a post about feminism. This is a post about my friends. Specifically, my female friends.

My dude friends are phenomenal. Had it not been for them, my life would be way more dull and I’d probably be dead seeing as though they check my car for safety more than I bother to. But when I need a velvet glove instead of a hammer, my girlfriends have this wonderful way of just being wonderful.

When the ambulance took me to hospital, I could only hope that my friend Martha would lock my house as I screamed toward her where I hid the house keys. Whatever with the alarms, the burglars can have what they can carry. And if it was really necessary to spend the night in hospital, I would adapt. I’m good with that.

But my powers of agility didn’t stir. They didn’t have to. When I woke from the first operation, it became abundantly clear that I was going to spend some days there. But before I could ask for so much as a stretch of loo paper, Martha sent me a message to let me know that she had locked my house, activated the alarm, arranged with another friend, Ruth, to feed the cats, arranged an intricate plan for Ruth to get the house keys (I said my friends are awesome, I never said they’re great at plans…), and was on the way with clothing and toiletries. She couldn’t find my toiletry bag, so she borrowed her daughter’s and filled it with goodies…luxurious soap, creams, toothpaste and everything else a gal could need…all newly purchased.

My girlfriends created a network of support and food-bringers and shoppers that would make any underground organised crime syndicate drool with envy. I am a lucky little girl. But it is the speed and unhesitating-ness of it that moves me to tears every time…

When my parents died, these women didn’t stand around debating the shitness of it. They didn’t work the room or mingled with the out-of-towners. They set up that network in stealth-like efficiency. And when the shock wore off and all universal signs indicated to me that life must go on, these women gently abandoned the network to allow me space to take up life again, and went on their way as if nothing happened. As if that was just what they do…

I have no doubt male friends experience the same sense of comfort within their circles. But in my experience female friends will plow their hands through your skin to grab hold of your spine if you cannot stay upright yourself. They will take your side in any fight with any foe but kick your ass full of holes if you need it.

These women…these, my band of sisters…

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