Florida’s Identical Twins Devoted to Christian Faith Turned 100, Shared Tips on Longevity

A pair of inseparable twin sisters who experienced the ups and downs of life together celebrated their 100th birthday in December 2021. People around them admire that the sisters are still together even after a hundred years.

Twin sisters Norma Matthews and Edith Antoncecchi were born on December 23, 1921, in Revere, Massachusetts to Italian parents who had migrated to the U.S.

Everything was going well in the twins’ life until their parents parted ways. The girls were only 13 when their father left their mother for another woman, and the news of their separation spread like wildfire.

Supporting Each Other
After their father abandoned them, the twins’ mother began working in a shoe factory to make ends meet. Simultaneously, other kids in their school learned about their parents’ separation and treated them like outcasts. Norma recalled:

“Other kids avoided us like we had a disease.”

The separation was considered a scandal, and the children in the twins’ school began distancing themselves from them. However, instead of feeling sad, the girls became each other’s strength.

Best Friends since Birth

Despite having contrasting personalities, Norma and Edith enjoyed each other’s company the most. Norma loved following fashion trends and was an artistic child, while her sister liked simple clothes and was a brilliant pianist.

Their life began to change after they graduated high school.
The girls became best friends when other kids refused to play with them. They found joy in wearing matching outfits and fooling their teachers by sitting in each other’s classrooms. It was hard for people to tell them apart when they wore the same clothes.

A Fun-Filled Childhood
The sisters also helped their mother look after their younger brother, John, besides sharing secrets and sometimes having little arguments like most siblings. Edith recalled:

“We didn’t have it easy, but we had a lot of fun.”

Soon, their mother married another man, and the sisters recalled their boyfriends had to ask him for permission before taking them out on dates.

Going Their Separate Ways
Their life began to change after they graduated high school. Edith was interested in becoming a nurse, while Norma aspired to be a hairdresser. At that point, the sisters went in different directions for the first time.

Soon, the then-young girls fell in love with the men they wanted to marry. In February 1943, Norma tied the knot with Charles Matthews, while Edith married Leo Antoncecchi that same year in May.

Getting married meant the sisters had to live apart for the rest of their lives. Norma told the Washington Post, “We decided it was important that we always lived as close as we could to each other.”

The Invisible Connection
For the next five decades, the sisters stayed in the Boston area, trying to live close to each other. They didn’t have to travel long distances when it was time for a family reunion.

Despite living in separate houses, the twins confessed they were connected through feelings. If Norma fell sick, Edith would sense something was wrong and call her sister immediately. Norma recalled:

“Edy was always there for me, and I was always there for her.”

Their Family Lives
After tying the knot in the same year, Norma and Edith welcomed their first babies in the same year as well. As time passed, they became loving mothers to multiple babies. Norma had three children, while Edith had two.

The twin mothers even shared similar sorrows. Norma’s world came crashing down when she lost her two-year-old baby girl, while Edith had similar feelings when one of her sons died a few years ago.

In 1994, Norma and Edith became widows months apart after Charles passed away due to Alzheimer’s disease and Leo lost his life in a car accident. Those incidents left the sisters devastated.

Moving to a New Place
As always, the twins had each other’s backs in this difficult phase of their lives. To make themselves feel better, they packed their belongings and moved to Florida the next year to live in a mobile home, where they still reside.

After they started living together, the twins became more religious and regularly visited the church. They also enjoyed cooking food and would ask their friends to drop them at the grocery store.

Secret to Longevity
The twins also shared their secret to longevity, which included “no drinking, no smoking, and living a clean life.” They believed their faith in Christianity helped them live a meaningful life where they didn’t hold grudges against anyone.

“There’s only up or down, so forgive others and keep clean for your own sake,” Norma advised and explained that she and her sister always kept this rule in their minds.

Their 100th Birthday
In December 2021, the beautiful women celebrated their 100th birthday with their loved ones. About 50 of their family members gathered in Norma and Edith’s favorite Italian restaurant to sing the birthday song while the ladies cut their cakes.

After spending a hundred years together, the sisters felt they couldn’t have done it without each other’s support. They also believe they would leave this world together because living alone was something none of the sisters had ever imagined.

Norma and Edith’s story is truly exceptional. We hope the twin sisters celebrate more birthdays together and keep inspiring people around them. Share this story with your loved ones to make them smile.

Click here to read another story about the oldest living WWII nurse who celebrated her birthday in Georgia wearing a sparkling “Birthday Queen” crown.

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