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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sugar and Vinegar: A Story of Two Sisters

I have one sister. She is a few years older than me and since my birth, we have pretty much been at odds (well, not since the cancer). The main reason, I believe, is that we are very, VERY different people.

Cathy is a tender woman - very nice and kind, sweet-tempered and compassionate. She is a great hostess and will listen with great patience and tolerance to whatever (inane or vapid) thing that people have to say. People love her.

I, on the other hand, often times lack tact. I give my opinion whether it's asked for or not, and can respond in rather brusque ways. I do not have a poker face. If you say something that I think is idiotic or nonsensical, my face will say that to you long before my tactless mouth does. Honestly, I can be a bit off-putting.

Our childhood was full of arguments and fights and me embarrassing her and her annoying me, but secretly, I always envied her. I also always worried about her. Especially as we began to age. The women in our family tend to live well into their nineties. Most men die in their seventies. What would happen to her during those very vulnerable 20+ years after her husband had gone to his reward and she was alone? I didn't worry about myself being alone because I love it. crave alone time. She, however, has always loved being around people.

So even though we weren't on speaking terms at the time,  I built this very elaborate fantasy about how we, after our husbands had croaked in their 70s, would move in to an old house together with a bunch of cats (and one dog, at her insistence). I also recognized that, because of our respective natures, the neighbors would probably love her and find me off-putting (see illustration below).

Unfortunately, cancer has interrupted my fantasy and what I thought would be a sure thing, is now everything but.

As much as I hate to admit it, it has been the cancer that has brought us together, so perhaps the fantasy is now. Happy Birthday, Cathie. With all the love I can send. ~ Ruthigus

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