The Grapefruit Sisters

Today I met two sisters while my mother plucked grapefruit. As we stood under the cool shade of the heavy limbs, I caught a glimpse of what a lifetime will do to a sibling bond. The older sister has some health issues and has never been married. The younger sister lost her husband last year. They have been living together for about six months. I believe them to both be in their eighties.
My sister has been my best friend since I was three. We rode the bus together, we went to high school together and this year, we will both be mothers. I often wonder what kind of relationship we will have with each other’s kids. Our mother’s sisters have been such a large part of our lives. It’s hard to imagine that we wouldn’t be that for each other’s kids. As I watched the grapefruit sisters, I realized that time has separated them, it has aged them and now it has made them rely on one another.
My sister is going to be a mother. The same sister who was always such an embarrassment to me when we were little. You know the kind. The kind that would run around in her long, stringy, blonde wig and fake glasses while wearing one of dad’s Bevis and Butthead shirts as a dress. The kind that would want to ride along to the grocery store with you and dad while sporting the above-mentioned attire. The kind that when dad said she could go with us and also said she didn’t have to change her clothes, would run upstairs and put a bikini top on underneath the Bevis and Butthead shirt. The same little sister who would then fill up two water balloons and stick them in the bikini top to make herself look “well endowed” for a five year-old.
Oh wait, you don’t know THAT kind of sister? You mean to tell me that you are unfamiliar with her particular species? That’s because she is MY sister and I would be honored to stand under a grapefruit tree with her.

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