Thanks for the memories …

This is a photo of my mother and her identical twin sister.  My mother’s the one on the left.  There’s no date on the back so I MomAnnettehave no idea how old they were.  I’m going to say 20 or 21.  They’d be 93 if they were still alive.

Ironically they both died in the month of February, although my aunt preceded my mother by several years. She died February 3, 2000.  And this coming Thursday, February 26, my mother will have been gone eight years.

Can’t believe how quickly the time’s passed.

But this isn’t a post about sadness and loss.  That’s not the right way to remember my mother; or my aunt, for that matter.  They were way too full of life to dwell on anything but what characters they were.  And what joy they brought.

They were so much alike — and not just in looks — it was freaky.  Especially for me, an only Continue reading

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Day 35. Two’s Company

I’ve recently started following The Misfortune of Knowing, on WordPress.  The first time I visited the blog I discovered, while reading the ‘about’ page, that the woman who writes it has young twin daughters (3 kids in all, though).  In fact, she has a picture of them on the blog, as well.  Adorable, identical red heads.  I commented that my mother was an identical twin, and that she and my aunt had the kind of relationship you couldn’t really understand unless you were a twin, yourself.  They were that close.  Two peas in a pod.

The author responded, and told me that her girls were so close, they had to be separated in pre-school because they only played with each other.  That was exactly the way my mother and aunt were.  My mother told me, that when they were very young children, they shared a bedroom.  But instead of sleeping in their own beds, they’d share one, and always fell asleep holding hands.

In those days, they didn’t separate twins in school.  Of course, twins were much more of a rarity back then.  But my mother and aunt always got the exact same marks on exams.  They’d get the same wrong answers and the same right ones.  So their teachers were convinced Continue reading

Day 14. Feeling Sentimental

August 20.  Today’s my mother’s birthday.  She’d be 90.  She was 82 when this photo was taken.  Her hairdresser took it; and no, she hadn’t had her make-up done by a professional for the shot.  She did it herself.  She put her make up on like that every morning, without fail.

My mother was an identical twin and they were born slightly premature.  Her disposition was 100% Leo:  She always had a smile on her face.  Always.  She was very outgoing, gregarious even.  She talked to everyone, including strangers in elevators, on the subway, in stores, wherever.  And no one ever seemed to mind.  They never tried to distance themselves from her, afraid she was a bit of a nut.  They carried on conversations with her.

When my parents sold their house after I’d moved out, they moved downtown, into an apartment.  It was a lovely, elegant building with a lot of old-world charm.  The original owner, a Greek tycoon, sold it to a Quebec-born millionaire, J. Louis Levesque. A businessman, racehorse owner/breeder and a philanthropist, he sat on the Boards of blue chip companies like Air Canada, Canadian National Railways, Hilton Hotels of Canada, Provincial Bank of Canada and many more.  Among the many honours he received during his lifetime, he was in the Canadian Business Hall of Fame, received the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award in 1972 and, in 1976, he was named to the Order of Canada.

When he bought the building my parents lived in, one of the conditions of the sale was that the wealthy Greek would move out of the penthouse, so J. Louis and his wife could move in.

Well my mother struck up a conversation with him, in the elevator one day.  She instantly became his new best friend — to the point that, whenever he went fishing Continue reading