I have always suspected that my wife Bethany and her sister Charla are identical, rather than fraternal twins. Until last weekend, I had no scientific basis on which to make this determination, but a fair amount of anecdotal evidence did support my hypothesis.
For starters, the girls look very similar to one another. Even their mother has a hard time determining who’s who in old photos. They think alike, too, speaking the same crazy twin language that no one else understands, wearing matching outfits without consulting each other first, and marrying exceptionally handsome and intelligent husbands.
Thanks to the miracle of home genetic testing kits, my suspicions were confirmed by an email Bethany received over Labor Day weekend. According to their 23andme.com test results, Bethany and Charla share 100% of their DNA. They are identical twins.
This news brought the twins great relief and genuine joy. Although they have always enjoyed a close bond throughout their lives, both of them had harbored fears that they might not be identical after all. Receiving definitive proof that they were at one point a single embryonic being was a life-affirming moment for both of them.
Naturally, the twins were together when they received this exciting bit of news last Sunday. The date? September 1st. Their birthday.
Now we know why our son Alex bears such a striking resemblance to Char’s kids. He is genetically their half-brother. Our children Truman and Tiana are not genetically related to anyone in our family due to the fact that they are adoptees from China, nevertheless, they have expressed a desire to submit DNA samples for testing, too. They are curious about their biological relatives and hope to learn more about their family histories.
I’m still awaiting the results from the sample I submitted. From what I’ve been told, my father’s side of my family tree is Scottish and Irish, while my mother’s side is Scottish and British. I doubt I’ll find that I have an identical twin or a half-sibling, but life is full of surprises.
I’ve never been more surprised than when Bethany agreed to marry me over 23 years ago. Not in my wildest dreams did I think that I would meet such a beautiful, smart, and caring woman. To think that there are TWO such women in my life is a blessing beyond compare.
Bethany and Charla are also a lot of fun to be around. I’ve heard from several people that the twins should have their own reality show on TV. When our families get together, there is never a dull (or quiet) moment. Ask any producer what you would get when you combine twin sisters and their trophy husbands with six kids and three dogs and they’ll tell you, “Television gold.”
To know Bethany and Charla is to know Love and Joy. It just seems appropriate that their mother’s name is Glee. We should all thank Glee, not just for her genetic gift to the world, but for being such a good role model to her daughters. The lessons they learned about how to raise happy and kind children have contributed to making the Naughton-Hecker kids the fine young people that they are today. I can’t imagine what the world would be like if Glee’s egg hadn’t split in two 45 years ago. I’m just glad that it did.
Happy birthday, Bethany and Charla. I love you both.