In December 2021, two identical twin sisters who shared all of life’s highs and lows celebrated their 100th birthdays. People around them are impressed that the sisters have remained together even after a century.
On December 23, 1921, twin sisters Norma Matthews and Edith Antoncecchi were born in Revere, Massachusetts, to immigrant Italian parents.
The twins’ lives were going along smoothly until their parents divorced. When their father left their mother for another woman, the girls were just 13 years old, and word of their breakup spread like wildfire.
Being There for One Another
Following the twins’ father’s abandonment of the family, the twins’ mother found work in a shoe factory in order to support her family. At the same time, other children at their school found out about the divorce of their parents and began to treat them as though they were outcasts. Norma thought back to:
“Other kids avoided us like we had a disease.”
The twins’ parents’ decision to divorce was perceived as a scandal, and as a result, the students at the twins’ school began to avoid them. On the other hand, rather than becoming discouraged, the girls turned to one another for support.
Best Friends since Birth
Norma and Edith liked each other’s company the most, despite the fact that the two women had very different personalities. Norma was an artsy child who had a passion for following the latest fashion trends, while her sister had a talent for the piano and preferred wearing plain clothes.
Because no other children wanted to play with them, the two young ladies became the best of friends. They got a kick out of dressing identically and pranking their teachers by changing classrooms with each other. When they wore identical outfits, it was difficult for anyone to differentiate between the two of them.
A Childhood That Was Packed With Fun
In addition to exchanging secrets with one another and occasionally engaging in petty rivalries, as most siblings do, the sisters assisted their mother in taking care of their younger brother, John. In her memory, Edith said:
“We didn’t have it easy, but we had a lot of fun.”
After some time, their mother wed another man, and the sisters recalled that their boyfriends were required to get his approval before bringing them out on dates.
Continuing on Their Individual Paths
After they finished high school, they noticed that their lives was starting to go in a different direction. Edith was thinking about going into the nursing field, while Norma had her sights set on the beauty industry. When they reached that moment, the sisters broke apart and went their separate ways for the first time.
The young women eventually developed romantic feelings for the future spouses they had chosen. Norma married Charles Matthews in February of 1943, and Edith tied the knot with Leo Antoncecchi in May of the same year. Both weddings took place in 1943.
When the sisters got married, it meant that she and her sister would have to spend the remainder of their lives apart. Norma shared her thoughts on the matter with the Washington Post, saying, “We decided it was important that we always lived as close as we could to each other.”
The Invisible Connection
The sisters remained in the Greater Boston region during the subsequent fifty years, making every effort to remain in close proximity to one another. When it came time for a family reunion, they did not have to travel very far at all.
The twins admitted that they were emotionally bonded to one another despite the fact that they lived in separate homes. Edith would quickly call her sister Norma if she became ill because she would sense that anything was amiss. Norma looked back:
“Edy was always there for me, and I was always there for her.”
Their Family Lives
Norma and Edith both gave birth to their first children in the same year, just one year after they tied the knot. They eventually became devoted moms to multiple kids as time went on. Edith gave birth to only two of her children, in contrast to Norma’s three children.
Even in their suffering, the twin mothers were very similar. Norma’s world came crumbling down when she lost her baby girl when she was just two years old, and Edith experienced similar feelings when one of her sons passed away a few years ago.
In 1994, Norma and Edith each lost their husbands in separate tragic circumstances, Charles to Alzheimer’s disease and Leo in a vehicle accident. Both of their husbands passed away in 1994, leaving them as widows. The sisters were utterly broken as a result of those events.
Relocating to a New Place
During this trying time in their life, the twins were there for each other just as they had been throughout their whole relationship. They decided to move to Florida the next year in the hopes that a change of scenery would help them feel better, and they have been living in the same mobile home ever since they made the move.
The identical twins got more devout and began going to church on a consistent basis once they began sharing living space. They also enjoyed preparing meals for themselves, and they frequently asked their friends to bring them food from the supermarket.
The Key to Longevity
The twins also divulged their secret to enjoying a long and healthy life, which was “no drinking, no smoking, and living a clean life.” They believed that their religion in Christianity enabled them to live a meaningful life in which they harbored no resentment toward anyone.
Norma offered some sound advice to the effect of “there’s only up or down, so forgive others and keep clean for your own sake,” and she went on to explain that both she and her sister always had this guideline in the back of their thoughts.
Celebration of their 100th Birthday
In December of 2021, the lovely ladies celebrated their 100th birthdays with the people who were most important to them. While Norma and Edith were cutting their cakes, over fifty members of their family came at their favorite Italian restaurant to sing the birthday song and celebrate with them.
After sharing a century of their lives, the sisters came to the conclusion that they could not have succeeded without the support of one another. They also believe that they would leave this world together because none of the sisters had ever considered the possibility of spending the rest of their lives on their own.
The story of Norma and Edith is one of a kind and very remarkable. We have high hopes that the twin sisters will continue to celebrate their birthdays together and continue to be an inspiration to all around them. Tell this amusing tale to your family and friends to see them crack a smile.