There is a connection between twins that is undeniable. I have twins and they are only 4 years old and they have that secret language that many people talk about. How can they not be connected in a different way? They have spent what I believe is two kinds of lives together, in two different realms -- in the womb and out of the womb. That connection never goes away, even if the twins are separated. Even if the twins grew up never knowing each other.
Ann Hunt and Elizabeth Hamel were born in 1936, and Ann was put up for adoption shortly after birth. Elizabeth learned she had a twin when she was 15. Ann never knew until her youngest daughter was doing research on their family tree. The twins were reunited after 78 years -- the longest separated twins to ever find each other again. Their lives have some fascinating similarities.
The girls were were born on February 28, 1936, in Aldershot, England. Their mother was a domestic cook named Alice Alexandra Patience Lamb; their father's name was Peters and he was in the army. He never saw his daughters. Ann was adopted by a local couple, and Alice kept Elizabeth because she had a curvature of the spine and worried no one would adopt her.
The years went on and the girls grew up. Elizabeth eventually married an American and moved to Oregon. Ann remained in Aldershot. The two never crossing paths, never knowing of the other one. Until Ann's daughter discovered that her mom was a twin when researching their family tree.
It took a long while, but they eventually were able to find each other. First there was a letter. "I saw Aldershot, ooh, I did a double-take on that," says Elizabeth. "I opened it up and looked at it, and my eyes popped out my head."
"I am writing to you as I am searching for a family connection," the letter said. She called the number immediately. Ann said:
I was over the moon, I couldn't speak. I let Elizabeth speak mostly, I had to pinch myself because I realized, I've got a sibling, a sister. It's so wonderful, I'm not on my own any more. I've got no words to say. I'm so happy -- I have Elizabeth.
How beautiful! After 78 years that bond is there. They are the longest-separated twins on record to ever find each other. Now, they have each other. At 78. This proves that it is never too late for anything. Perhaps always feeling that something is missing, now they feel complete. When they met in person, Ann said, "Lizzie, Lizzie, how lovely," as they hugged. "How lovely to see you in the flesh," said Elizabeth. "I've been praying for you for many years."
Both Ann and Elizabeth discovered they are widows, both married to men named Jim. A look at their long, slender fingers reveals that they fancy the same kind of nail polish and long nails. They wore the same kind of jewelry and seemed to have the exact same watch. They are both now grandmothers and both pray. They seem to share the same sense of humor and enjoy posing in funny ways for the camera all through the years. They see themselves in each other; their mannerisms are very similar.
"I feel like I've known Liz all my life now," Ann says. And she has. Just in a different way -- that connection that defies being in the same place together. Lovely.
What do you think of the twin bond? Have you witnessed it firsthand?
Image via the BBC