Janice and Jackie were twins—so alike were they that hardly anyone could tell them apart. Blonde hair and blue eyes got the attention of many and it wasn’t long before they were popular with almost everyone. When they were young—in their teens—they had the same likes and dislikes and seldom did anything unless the other “half” was doing it, too. But, as they matured into their twenties, married and had children, much of that changed.
Janice married when she was twenty-one to Ben, a great guy of twenty-two who had a promising career at a local Illinois bank..
Jackie married at the age of twenty-two to a man named Charlie, who was working for his father, who owned a small store in the downtown of Newark, Ohio.
Both began having children and by the age of thirty, Janice had two children—a boy and a girl and Jackie had three children—two boys and a girl.
Their lives were going in different directions and it wasn’t often that they were able to see each other-for Jackie lived in Ohio, while Janice and her family still lived in Illinois.
But there was one commonality that they both had and that was education. They both were teachers and enjoyed the work.
It just so happened that their parents—Ed and Maria—were planning a family reunion that year around the 4th of July at lovely picnic area in Illinois. Jackie thought at first that she wouldn’t be able to attend because her husband had to be in charge of the store; for he was recovering from a heart attack. But, to her relief, Charlie’s father improved and so she and her family made plans to attend the reunion.
The day of the reunion arrived and Ed and Maria were fixing up the picnic tables and site, getting ready for the girls and their families to arrive. The first to arrive was Janice and her family. She was happy to see her mom and dad again and for her children to once again reconnect with their grandparents. Janice had aged well, her parents thought, and her children and husband, also looked very happy.
About a half hour later, they saw another car approach the picnic area. It looked like Jackie, Charlie and the family. As they pulled up to the picnic area, everyone was eager to see Jackie and her family.
Charlie first got out of the car and then opened the car door for Jackie. The children then got out and all approached the picnic area.
Jackie had on a scarf and dark glasses. It looked as if she was hiding something; she looked quite mysterious.
As they entered the picnic shelter area, Jackie kept her distance from her twin sister and didn’t touch or interact with anyone.
Janice, being curious, walked up to her twin sister and said, “Hi Jackie! So good to see you.”
Jackie turned coyly and said, “Oh Janice, yes. Good to see you, too.”
“Jackie, is anything wrong? You don't seem like your old self.”
Jackie slowly took off her scarf and glasses and said, “This is what’s wrong!”
Janice scanned her face and replied, “There is nothing wrong with you, twin sister! You’re as beautiful as ever…”
All of a sudden Jackie’s face glowed, as if she had been brushed with something glorious and heavenly.
You see, Jackie was undergoing a severe reaction to a face lift that went horribly wrong and was ashamed and saddened about her appearance. She was fearful of anyone looking at her face.
She found out later from the rest of the family that after the initial shock, they still saw her as the beautiful and friendly Jackie. You see, they were just happy that she was alive and there-- to share a happy family reunion.
It can be said that there is nothing as beautiful as kindness.
I think Jackie would approve of that saying!
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