You Have One Sister…Love Her

There we were, Mary and Theresa Bahr, skulking off to elementary school, silently walking in single file, each hoping the other would be instantly taken out by an alien or a run away bus. Two little uniformed girls, we were ushered across a busy four lane road by a crossing guard who knew us well. ‘Are you two fighting again?” was the usual morning greeting by our guard.  Yep, we were.  About what?  Nothing and everything.  We were one year apart and spent every waking minute in each other’s business.  We shared a room, a bed and fought over clothes, space, oxygen. I remember the guard saying “you have one sister, love her”.  Ha, easy for her to say.

sisters 5

Reluctant hand holding coupled with a bad hair day 1968.

It is actually a miracle that my sister and I lived into adulthood without a major orthopedic deformity or significant brain trauma.  She smashed my guitar over my head and I , in turn, tried to kill her with a lamp. Hair pulling and strangulation also not uncommon.  Our poor parents..I can only imagine how badly they must have wanted to plant both of us in the garden for some peace and quiet.  Our brother, according to our mother, actually ran away from home as a little boy, and when “found” by Mom, he stated he was not returning unless they did “something” about “the girls”.  Sorry, Tim.

 sisters 4

Just home from the hospital and already trying to kill me via a choke hold.

Funny thing about sisters though..when we weren’t trying to end each other, we were fiercely holding on to each other.  Mary held my hand at night when I was scared of the witch that lived in the closet or the shark that was going to eat me (thanks active imagination).  She gave me a piggyback ride once after we saw a mouse run through the room and I was afraid to put my feet on the floor, and gave me a good slap across my face to bring me back to reality when I was freaking out in a tornado warning and watched our shed blow away.  She was my evil nemesis..she was my loving rock.

sisters 3

This weekend we celebrated Mary’s 50th .  Laughter and love in abundance, I hope she felt the appreciation for the beautiful and strong woman that she is, because I sure did.  Happy Birthday Mary..that crossing guard was right..I have one sister and I do love her with all my heart.

                                                                                          Mary: Tea?    Me: Why yes, thank you.                                                                                           Mary:  Screw you, get it yourself.

sisters 2                                        sibs

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4 thoughts on “You Have One Sister…Love Her

  1. I remember those days from my own childhood well. Thank goodness we didn’t kill our sisters, otherwise, we’d be without our best friends!!! Great story. Happy Birthday, Sis!!

  2. This piece brought laughs and tears and memories of days past. Although it is amazing that you two aren’t on life support in some long term care facility from the blows inflicted on one another. Or in prison serving life sentences for attempted murder. Those were the days!
    I see a novel. The title could be, “A Hysterically Ordinary Life”.

  3. What a great piece and a nice (yet accurate) tribute to your Sister and to all those with siblings. How I remember those days and being caught in the middle, and being jealous of your closeness and matching holiday outfits. I would not trade those days for anything. My childhood wouldn’t have been the same without my cousins “the Bahr Sisters” and their brother Tim, as well as my own brother. A tear, a smile.

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