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The story of faith, fun, and tragedy for these 100-year old identical twins

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Norma Matthews and Edith "Edy" Antoncecchi

Lori Giberti | Facebook | Fair Use

Cerith Gardiner - published on 03/03/22

The inspiring centenarians share the importance of their faith in reaching the grand old age.

Norma Matthews and Edith “Edy” Antoncecchi claim that “people love that we’re still together,” according to an article in the Washington Post. And seeing the centenarians’ radiant smiles, it’s not surprising.

The women, who were born near Boston, celebrated their landmark birthdays in December. And while their life seems full of joy now, it wasn’t always the case.

When the inseparable twins were 13, their father left their mother for another woman. It was then down to their mom to pay all the bills with her income from a shoe factory. Back then, it caused a lot of scandal and the twins were stigmatized: “When he divorced our mother, other kids avoided us like we had a disease,” Norma shared.

Shunned by others

So the pair turned to each other even more. “We made our own fun,” explained Edy, the oldest twin by a couple of minutes. They would get up to mischief by dressing up as each other and swapping classes, and they’d also look after their little brother, John. “We didn’t have it easy, but we had a lot of fun,” recollected Edy.

The twins were inseparable. They both fell in love and married in same year: Norma married Charles Matthews on Valentine’s Day and Edy said her vows to Leo “Chick” Antoncecchi three months later.

Although married life meant separate homes, the pair determined that they still had to live near each other. So they bought homes around Boston, where they stayed for the following 51 years. Norma went on to have four children, and found it hard to cope with the loss of a two-year-old daughter. Thankfully, she had Edy by her side. Edy, had two boys, and when one of them died two years ago, her sister helped her through the loss.

As Norma shared, “Edy was always there for me, and I was always there for her. Whenever I’d get sick, Edy would somehow know. She’d call me up or come rushing over to make sure I was okay.”

Life after marriage

When both of their husbands died in 1994, the pair offered each other great support and moved to Florida, eventually setting up home together. Norma is the chef and makes wholesome meals for the pair, but the sisters reveal what they believe to be the secret to their long lives: “No drinking, no smoking and living a clean life so we’ll go to heaven.”

The two inspire everybody they encounter. “Edy is more quiet, and Norma is the chatty one. If you take them to a restaurant, Norma is gone—she has to get up and talk to everyone. But they both light up the room,” Margaret Shaffer, a neighbor who drives them to music hour, shared with the Washington Post.

And in an article by Stephanie Hayes for Tampa Bay Times, we get to hear a little more about the women’s strong faith, and how it’s played a key role in their lives:

“Loving people is the most important thing, Norma says. No, actually, forgiveness is. And it’s the hardest thing. But if you don’t forgive, it will eat your soul. That’s what she wants people to know,” revealed Hayes.

“There’s only up or down, so forgive others and keep clean for your own sake, Edy and I have done our best to take that to heart,” Norma pointed out to the Washington Post.

One thing is certain, the music-loving twins hope that they will leave this world the way they came in, together. “We really feel that one can’t depart without the other, I’d do anything for Edy. She’s my everything,” Norma lovingly shared.

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