It wasn’t until she went to college that twenty-seven year old Katie Miller started doing online research on her symptoms, and found out she was autistic, as she tells in Marie Claire‘s latest issue. Growing up, experts think it may have helped her focus on painting more intensely. Her obsessive drawing lead to this impressive photographic painting from the collection ‘The Fancy of Babes’, called ‘Portrait of Duke as the Pacifier Punk’.
“They have the same piercing eyes. The same color hair. One may be shy, while the other loves meeting new people. Discovering why identical twins differ—despite having the same DNA—could reveal a great deal about all of us.“
I read this interesting article about DNA research in the latest National Geographic issue, and was intrigued by the portraits shot by award winning photographer Martin Schoeller. Spot the differences!
Six-year-old Johanna Gill puts a protective hand on her sister, Eva. The twins both have mild autism, a disorder linked to genetic inheritance.
The 15-year-old sisters want to go to the same university and become opera singers. They both like to draw as well but have a different approach to their art. Marta depicts finely detailed faces, while Emma prefers more expansive images: the sky, the rain, objects in motion.
As infants, Ramon and Eurides looked so much alike that their mother gave them name bracelets so she wouldn’t get confused and feed the same child twice. Today at age 34, the twins are next-door neighbors in Florida, living in identical custom-built houses. A topic of family debate: Who has the fuller face? Ramon says it’s Eurides. Eurides (and the mother) say it’s Ramon. Mom thinks it’s because she mistakenly gave Eurides’s portion to the other twin.
When Loretta was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago, Lorraine was in the doctor’s office with her. Loretta asked if Lorraine should be checked as well. The doctor discovered that Lorraine also had breast cancer. After receiving treatment, the sisters are both in good health.
The nine-year-olds get along well and also have a psychic shopping bond. Their mom sometimes takes them to the mall on separate occasions. Even when one twin doesn’t know what the other twin has selected, they typically want to buy the same clothes.
In kindergarten Spencer was too shy to pose on picture day. He gave his shirt to his brother, who sat for both portraits. Their mom wasn’t fooled: She spotted the mosquito bite on Skyler’s forehead in both. In high school the brothers were wrestlers; the ref would sometimes tell one, “You can’t come back out—you just wrestled.” Now 19, they attend Ohio’s Lake Erie College, one of the few that offers a scholarship to twins—one pays full tuition, the other is a freebie.
Jessica and Jackie Whited, 20, both go to the University of Akron, share the same friends and jobs, and even teach Sunday school together. When they were younger, nail polish distinguished them—Jessica wore purple and Jackie wore pink. They look so alike that their boss at McDonald’s gets confused, but their personalities aren’t identical. Jessica says Jackie, who will do things like dye her hair impulsively, is “more of a thrill ride.”
Five-year-olds Carly and Lily Ayer of Ohio are so inseparable that their mother, Lisa, occasionally worries: “I wonder if they sometimes think they are the same person.” The girls are in the same class at school and in swimming. When teachers tried to move Carly up to a more advanced swimming class, Lily protested: She didn’t want to be left behind.
When Christopher Griffin got the number two tattooed on his wrist as a symbol of being a twin, he thought his brother Cole would get a matching tattoo. Cole did, sort of. “I was born first, so I got a ‘one,’ ” he says, laughing. At 20, the twins say they now share more and get along better than they did growing up. They go to different Ohio colleges but have a daily reminder of each other: Each has the other’s name tattooed on his inner lip.
Back home in New York… Hoping these pictures of a morning at Saline Plage, St. Barths, last week make me feel a little warmer!
All you need is an old friend, mommy’s hat, and some fresh fish…
I remember the centerpiece of glass vases in the dining room of the Mondrian Hotel, feeling good about my new skirt that was actually a little too short, and being excited about the table for two on date night.
Then a Dutch number shows up on my phone. It’s 3am in The Netherlands. I laugh, assuming it’s my niece, who has the habit of calling when her alcohol level exceeds her limit, to tell me how much she loves us. It’s my sister. And a few minutes later it’s my mom, calling from France. The rest of the night goes by in a blur, all I can remember is not being able to stop shaking, and arriving to an empty house in Leiden, the next day.
In exchange for granting his wish of going peacefully in his sleep, next to the love of his life of over fifty years, Death found my father in St. Tropez a few years too early.
It made me wonder why life goes this way. Why do we grow up slowly to prepare for life, why does a pregnancy prepare us for the arrival of a child, while death comes so sudden? How could I have prepared for this? And how was I going to say a final farewell to my father, a week later?
Never in my life had I felt so proud as I did on that last Saturday in September. It wasn’t until that day that I understood the true meaning of celebrating life.
The sun was shining, a fleet of boats ready to have friends and family guide my father to his final resting place on his self built wooden boat. We drank and ate in his spirit until it was time to light the fire place, dad’s nightly tradition.
I’m grateful my mom got to experience one of the most beautiful days in her life, a day we can always look back on with smiles on our faces.
The passing of my dad, the big rock in my life, marks the end of a beautiful, mostly carefree period. But the rest of my life will be beautiful and filled with love because of him. In his spirit, it will be filled with lots of photographs to capture the beauty of life, lots of Sunday night dinners with extremely slow cooked braised beef, good wine, and a (soon to come) burning fire place. He will never leave me but always live on in me.
Here’s to a happy and healthy new year, to new beginnings and to new life. With lots of love from a beach chair on the island of St. Barths!
(Thank you Anna and Andrea for great photography)