Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Flora Dora Sisters


An email from my sister, mentioning some very old relatives, was the catalyst for this post. Two twin sisters, known affectionately as the Flora Dora sisters, are cousins of mine...probably three or four times removed. Those are not their real names, but that's what we’ve always called them. They lived together, always dressed identically, and for the whole time I've known them I couldn't tell Flora from Dora.

For my entire life the Flora Dora sisters have been fixtures at family weddings and funerals. I remember my mother telling me that they loved to dance. My only memory of them dancing was at a cousin's wedding when I was in my 20’s . Every time the band played they’d stand up, clap their hands to the beat, and shift their weight from one foot to the other. I guess that was dancing to them, but to me it looked like two little wooden soldiers marching in place to the music. Not to be too critical…at least they kept time to the beat.

There aren't too many weddings anymore, so for the past few decades I've only seen them at funerals. They’ve always prided themselves on never missing a funeral...and would always seem to show up before anyone else...rosary beads in hand... dressed in identical black mourning clothes. I have this mental picture them showing up at the funeral home 15 minutes beforehand waiting for the doors to open. How quickly they found out who died remains a mystery to me...Facebook perhaps? I think not.

Whenever they'd see me they would always attack approach in tandem, arms outstretched, surround me with hugs, and plant very wet kisses all over my face. Did I mention they had whiskers? Anyway, after slobbering smothering me with kisses, they’d nod towards the coffin. Then Dora…or maybe it was Flora…would invariably say “Such a shame”dabbing her eye with a tissue…and her twin would say…nodding her head knowingly…“God decided to take him.” The only variation in this statement over the last 40 years was that sometimes “her” replaced “him.”

I have no clue how old they are...they've always looked 80-something to me. The family joke was that they'd probably outlive everyone else, and when they died there wouldn't be anyone left to attend their funerals. I'm not even sure if they're still alive...guess I'll have to wait until the next funeral to find out.


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2 comments:

John said...

He's back!

-- John Rinehart

kenju said...

Don't we all have some eccentric relatives like that?? LOL

Welcome back!