A lonely orphaned man visits his mother’s grave every week for 12 years, then one day he arrives and finds her standing by her own grave.
Gary Levine’s Sundays always ended with a visit to his mother’s grave. He might go to lunch with friends, play golf or tennis, but no matter what, Gary’s day seemed incomplete unless he paid tribute to his mom.
It had been twelve years since Esther had passed away, and Gary felt that he would never get over the pain of losing her or the loneliness of being an orphan. His father had died when he was only eight, and Esther had raised him alone.
Gary Levine’s Sundays always ended with a visit to his mother’s grave | Source: Shutterstock.com
Like his father, Esther had been an only child, so there were no aunts and uncles, no cousins. Since Esther’s passing, Gary was alone in the world. He had a lot of friends, but it was to Esther’s grave that he brought his joys and his sorrows.
That Sunday, Gary brought a bouquet of his mother’s favorite lily-of-the-valley from a florist on the way to the cemetery. As he approached Esther’s grave he had a strange sensation of deja vu.
There was a woman standing in front of his mother’s grave with her back to him, and something about the set of her shoulders and her posture, even her hairstyle, was eerily familiar.
Gary walked closer, and at the sound of his footsteps, the woman turned around and Gry saw her face. “Mom!” Gary heard himself crying out, even as he lost consciousness and his knees folded under him.
Gary never got over losing his mother | Source: Unsplash
When he came to, he found himself looking up at Esther’s beloved face. She was cradling his head in her arms and running a wet handkerchief over his face. “Are you alright?” she asked. “Can you hear me?”
“Mom?” Gary whispered, “Is that really you?”
The woman looked surprised. “Mom? You mean…You… You’re Esther Levine’s son?”
Don’t give in to despair, because a brand new life and happiness may be waiting for you just around the corner.
Gary’s vision was clearer and now he could see that there were subtle differences between this woman and his mother. She was older, of course, the age that Esther would have been if she lived, but still, the resemblance was uncanny.
Gary brought Esther a bouquet of her favorite flowers | Source: Pixabay
“I’m Esther’s son, yes…Gary Levin,” Gary confirmed as he tried to get back on his feet. “Who are you? For a moment I thought I was seeing a ghost!”
The woman helped him up and smiled. “I’m Keira Duchamp. I believe I’m your mother’s twin.”
“Twin?” Gary couldn’t believe his ears. “But my mom was an only child…”
Keira nodded sadly. “I thought I was an only child too,” she said. “But when my mother passed away I learned I was adopted, so I started looking for my birth family.
Gary saw a woman standing by his mother’s grave | Source: Pexels
“It wasn’t easy, the adoption had been back in the sixties, no one wanted to talk, but finally I learned who my parents were, and best of all, that I had a twin sister.”
“But I thought…No one separates twins!” Gary exclaimed.
“Not anymore, but back then things were different,” Keira explained. “I can tell you I’ve spent my whole life feeling that there was something missing, and there was. It broke my heart to learn that I’d found out about Esther too late to get to know her.”
The woman turned around and Gary saw that she looked like his mother | Source: Pexels
“I think she had the same feeling,” Gary said. “She was fascinated with anything to do with twins, and her greatest regret was not having siblings. But she never knew that she was adopted, or she would have gone looking for you too.”
“Tell me, Gary, what was she like?” Keira asked eagerly, and so Gary spent the rest of the afternoon talking about Esther, her lovely laugh, her irresistible sense of humor, her kindness.
Gary and Keira made plans to meet the next day so Gary could bring the photo albums and show her his mementos of Esther. As Keira slowly leafed through a photo album, she sighed.
“It’s like looking at myself living a different reality!” Keira said. “We really were identical. I’ve got to show these to my children — with your permission.”
Esther and Keira were given up for adoption to different families | Source: Pixabay
“You have children?” Gary asked. “How many?”
“Six,” Keira smiled. “Four girls, two boys — and I already have two grandbabies and they are identical twins, just like me and Esther!”
“I have cousins?” Gary asked. “I have a family?”
“You do,” Keira said. “But in reality, since Esther and I were genetically identical, they are your half brothers and sisters!”
The following weekend, there was a crowd around Esther’s grave. Keira came and brought her husband, her children, and her grandchildren to meet Gary and place flowers on her long-lost sister’s grave.
Gary became part of a big family | Source: Unsplash
For the first time in twelve years, Gary didn’t walk away alone, he was surrounded by a loving family that belonged to him. As Keira put her arm around his shoulders, Gary knew that the dark and lonely days were over. He was sure that somewhere Esther was watching and smiling.
What can we learn from this story?
- When the people we love move on to a better place, we don’t grieve for them, we grieve for our loneliness. Gary was devastated by his mother’s early death and never got over it.
- Don’t give in to despair, because a brand new life and happiness may be waiting for you just around the corner. Gary never imagined he’d meet his mother’s twin and find a large and loving family.
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