As we approach Valentine’s Day, we are forced to take a closer look at those that are important to us. We have the chance to take our partner to a new restaurant, bring a fresh bouquet of flowers to our mother, or ask someone special for their hand in marriage. The opportunity is there if we so choose. But what about the ones that are no longer with us? Should we take the time to remember the way they were, and how they loved each other, too? Valentine’s Day is not just about traditional or new love, but it also extends to another kind of love – the kind between identical twin sisters.
Marion and Doris may have struggled in their final years, but they were inseparable. They were forced to face the calamities of Alzheimer’s, but they faced it together. What they had was unbreakable, maybe something that only twins can completely understand.
They are thought of often by those who loved them the most, with a laugh and a snicker, and always lots of love. It was said that no matter how lost or forgetful The Twins became as a result of their condition, their personalities remained evident. They were strong-headed, stubborn, and always opinionated. Doris was clearly the aggressor and the leader, and Marion was accepting of this, though there was resistance from time to time.
Doris became ill first, leading the way even in the end. Marion followed close behind, and soon their symptoms were the same. In their final hours, they lied together in the hospital, hand-in-hand, two women who lived long and memorable lives with a family who loved and stood by them no matter what. They died 18 hours apart.
What they left behind was more important than just their many experiences – their story, but of what it means to love someone unconditionally. It is remarkable how clearly The Twins are remembered, and how their strength makes their family proud and inspired, even today, many years after their passing. The spirit of The Twins has been passed down through the generations – I’ve seen this with my own eyes. I feel pride every day knowing that I have become a part of this family, having gained a new Valentine of my own, in Maggie.
Let us remember love, through the years. Every day we have the opportunity to make someone smile, to make new memories, and to sit down and have a meaningful conversation about the ones who have moved on to a better place. We can open our hearts to the person we love most, and to the memory of those who will always be with us in spirit. Let’s use Valentine’s Day to do that, too.