Hello, I’m Robert! Teri asked for my two cent deposit and I was more than happy to oblige. She asked me to share with you my input on being a twin, what it’s like and possibly the challenges of parenting twin sons. I’m not a parent, so I may stumble with that one, but the other, I think I can shed some light on.
Being a twin, unless you are a twin, I don’t think you can truly grasp it! I’m 48 years old and had a twin for the first 40 years of my life! Life had given me an automatic best friend along with a soul mate. The Yin and the Yang, and all that good stuff, we were complete compliments to each other while being completely compatible with each other. If you are fortunate enough to have been born into it, then you can easily take it for granted.
My twin and I lived together most of our lives, not out of necessity, but because it made sense. We had different interest, but yet they were related. We took different career paths, but those paths intersected. We bought different houses, but still wound up in one. The 40 year experience I had with being a twin was an interesting and irreplaceable part of my life.
I’m guessing I should take you back to where it started? Not all the way back, just enough for a better visual. David and I were born in the summer 1969. I wanted out of there pretty bad, so I beat him to the punch, he got bored or lonely and decided to join me 8 minutes later with great relief to our mom, and a big wow to our new found world!
The biggest thing I remember about being twins is we did everything together, which also meant sharing friends. This meant you damned well better like both of us, because you don’t get one without the other! In the Elementary years we did have our own separate friends, but as far as endearing friendships, it was both of us! Our mom did make sure that we had separate classes in the Elementary years, and yes we looked close enough alike then, that we could fool some teachers along with some girls. Those were the fun years! High School sucked, we shared some classes and a homeroom, but that whole high school mentality thing didn’t bode too well with David. He was already finding sync with a different drummer, and the rest of the class couldn’t keep the rhythm! Even back then we were both into music pretty heavily, it could have been one of those things that influenced our lives more than we thought!
We graduated high school in 1987 and embarked upon our college years. I aptly enough, went to The Art Institute of Atlanta enrolled in their Music Business program. David went to Southern Tech for a while enrolled in Architecture. We both sucked at advanced math classes, he wound up at The Art Institute of Atlanta studying Interior design. Neither one of us graduated from these programs. I floundered around in music retail for a couple of years and he wound up in the hospitality industry for a spell. I wound up becoming a contractor in the field of construction, while he worked at a hotel still maintaining a continuing education. He eventually got his degree in Sociology, and became the first college graduate in our family! Interesting thing to note is we quit sharing a bedroom at the age of 17, and had gone our separate ways. By the time we were 22 we were sharing a house together that we rented. At 24 we had bought our first house. That is something we couldn’t have done with our older brother! David and I had a bond that went unspoken, and it stayed that way until he died.
When, we bought our first house together, it was all we could afford! I was a self-employed contractor, back then banks didn’t like the self-employed. David was doing a graveyard shift at a hotel in Atlanta. I worked during the day, while he slept. He would wind up with DEFACS after graduating college which became his career. I wound up going from Landscaping construction, to building and remodeling homes. I bring this up, because one of his passions was still home design, he abandoned the degree in that line of work, but he never abandoned the passion for it. I remember he was always drawing on house plans he had designed in his head, yet I was the one who was working in that field (life is often a funny thing!). I think sometime around the age of 27 or 28 we parted ways again, he was still with DEFACS and I had taken a job building homes for a National home building company. He told me he wanted a separate house. We bought one closer to his work, I stayed where I was, and he moved to it. Even thinking back on that, it doesn’t strike me as odd, to the casual reader it may seem a bit out of the ordinary. Before he was living in this house we had bought a piece of property in the mountains, not knowing what we were going to do with it! Alright it looks like I’m straying from the topic at hand, that topic would be what was it like being a twin?
I’m hoping that gave someone an indication of what it was like for me! I and my bro did many things together, if you read between the lines we were also business partners! It goes back again to that unspoken bond, it’s something I can’t explain. I may have had what many others are seeking in marriage, as far as team work and compatibility. I’m not talking about weird stuff here, we were just very close brothers and friends, I can’t imagine anyone not being close to their sibling.
I damned sure couldn’t imagine life without my twin. I remember back in my landscaping days meeting a fellow who had lost his twin brother, I remember thinking then “wow the poor bastard, there’s no way I could do that!” Unfortunately life at times does have other plans, to quote Victoria Williams in a song “That, that you fear the most can meet you halfway” I met with that at the age of 40, we had been 40 for almost 3 months, and he decided to die! The night I was told, I didn’t bat an eye, didn’t shed a tear, and didn’t cry. I was just numb! I’m not going to go into details here, should I elect to write it, you can find it in a book later this year.
That which I feared the most met me all the way! I had been stripped clean of everything that mattered. A part of you is missing now, you can’t get that back! It’s gone, it is no more, it’s the deepest love you’ve ever known and more than likely ever will know. It’s all gone, and the emptiness inside is almost comfortable.
I accepted that he was gone, dead, and no more than a memory, I was blessed to have had him in my life, now what does one do? Well, after realizing I couldn’t join him, I made a grueling effort to get busy living. The construction days are gone and I’m back to my other love which was music! I’m guessing my brother’s passing left me with a hole that will never be filled and a different type of perspective on life!
So, what’s it like being a twin? For me it was the love of my life! In every way, but the sexual. I think a few reading this will understand that, for those who don’t, I’m sorry. Being a twin, was the gift of life for me, it was the reason for Christmas and Birthdays, 2 very hollow days for me now.
Here’s the deal though. I was given something that many don’t get to experience, I did and am very thankful for that. We all have to die, some sooner than others, what did you do while among the living? Did you live before you died? That’s among one of the biggest takes I got from it all, I lived! I had a reason to live! Now with a part of that equation missing it’s been difficult at times trying to find that reason, but life has smiled on me twice now. I still have a reason, but like everything else in life, one has to evolve into it. What’s it like being a twin? It’s the relationship with another human being that will never be defined or repeated, you either have it or you don’t! I had it and still Thank God for that.
To the parents of twins, let them be what they are, if they aren’t close, encourage them to be. That’s the biggest thing about being a twin, the relationship and the bond! If the whole world pisses on you, you still have a friend if you have a twin!
In wrapping this up, I can only recall 2 or 3 altercations with my twin (not bad considering 40 years of living close together). At the time of his passing we were attempting to get into rehabbing houses, and selling them (that house thing seemed to be a constant). I may still do it, but at the moment I’m hoping to do music and writing as my main source of a livelihood, and will hopefully look at the house thing as a hobby or a means to give someone else a job! If he were here now, we would probably be head over heels into this writing thing. We would be bickering about the song thing, he would want to infuse some Jazz into it, and I would be like Hell No! But we would’ve found a happy medium somewhere in the middle.
That piece of mountain property I mentioned earlier, I wound up building a house there for him. I designed and built it off of a rough idea from a rental house he and I wanted to buy. He took my design and tweaked it, and of course we made some changes along the way. The thing is, he got to live in his at the time somewhat dream home for a spell, before he passed, and I got to build it! Not a lot of folks get that opportunity.
If you’ve read between the lines, we got to do much of what we wanted to do by working together toward a common goal. We had the properties before we were 30, I’m pretty certain had we gotten into the house rehab, it would’ve been a hit. I also think if we were writing together, we would be on our way to producing a hit, and enjoying every minute of it!
For anyone reading this (you know I’m in to music) check out the band Larkin Poe, www.larkinpoe.com. These are 2 sisters who act a lot like twins, you can see their relationship in their performance. David and I wouldn’t be performing as they are, but we would be producing together that kind of quality in our music. I’m thinking that Teri and Shari will use their relationship in that manner to build this new thing they’ve created into something that keeps you the reader/ site visitor coming back to their site. It could be the thing that makes you go WOW!
Thanks! Robert