The Tie That Binds


I had a brief visit yesterday with a friend who excitedly shared that his brother was coming into town last night. At the age of thirty, they don’t have opportunities to visit that often. The brother continues to live in Canada where they grew up while the other lives in Austin. Despite the distance that separates them, they are woven together with a special bond that is inseparable. They are identical twins. Somehow hearing the news of their plans for the weekend lifted my spirits and filled me with a sense of excitement for him.

I guess it’s only natural that I have an interest in twins. In fact, I heard earlier this week that the Olson twins turned thirty. I can’t say that I was a fan of “Full House” or that I watched the series. I also didn’t see any of the movies in which Mary-Kate and Ashley subsequently starred, but reportedly, their financial portfolio is around $300 million.

When it comes to work, I can’t imagine working in a setting with family members. I guess from an HR perspective, nepotism can create a sense of unfairness in the workplace. On the other hand, without nepotism the concept of family business would be non-existent.

When it comes to HGTV, I am a fan of Property Brothers. Jonathan and Drew Scott have an impressive skill set in renovating older homes and helping families needing affordable housing realize their dreams.

When it comes to both work related venues and entertainment, the tie that binds the Scott brothers is inseparable. Both are also incredibly talented musicians. Last year they ventured to Nashville to co-write and record “Let the Night Shine In” and “Hold On”. Reportedly, the songs were shared on their “Property Brothers at Home on the Ranch” special. It aired November 25, 2015.

By their own admission, music has always been a part of their lives. Reflecting back on their younger years, they grew up on a ranch where it wasn’t uncommon to find themselves around a campfire with their dad playing the guitar. Reportedly, “Neither sibling would praise the other for being a better singer ‘Maybe it’s the twin thing,’ they joked. – Jonathan did point out, ‘It’s funny though, how Drew keeps forgetting the lyrics. Flashbacks to us caroling Christmas songs to neighbors when we were kids…he could never get it right.’

I have a friend who grew up in Louisiana. He now lives in California. Interestingly, so does his twin. They are identical and at the same time as different as night and day. Sadly one twin didn’t meet familial expectations. He occasionally got into trouble at the Catholic School where they grew up. In addition, he didn’t measure up to the academic and behavioral standards set by his parents, so-to-speak. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he also experimented with drugs.

Few people could tell by looking which twin was who. Often people would ask, “Are you the good twin or the bad twin?” Ouch! I can’t even begin to imagine.  Following their graduation from high school, the twins headed different directions for college. The twin I knew was amazingly skilled and competent at his work. His brother on the other hand, in the midst of adulthood, was still having a difficult time making his way. Hearing his story hurt my heart. When one’s identity is colored with the descriptor “bad twin”, it can’t do much to bolster one’s self-esteem.

I saw another twin story this morning that immediately hurt my heart. Two 37-year-old sisters reportedly were inseparable. They always lived together, played together and worked together. Their first priority was the relationship they shared. The two owned and operated very successful yoga studios in Palm Beach, Florida.

In many respects they were living life in the fast lane. Anticipating and promised a reality TV project that fell through, their world began to fall apart. They had outgrown one of their studios, in well-to-do Palm Beach Gardens, but instead of annexing a neighboring storefront as planned, they were persuaded by the producers to lease space on the priciest, trendiest street in West Palm Beach. They were banking on the TV income to make it work, but then the show fell through and they were stuck with a lease they couldn’t afford.

They descended into a cross-country spiral of business failures, debts, arguments and drunken run-ins with the law enforcement.  Obviously, the quick fix escape to Hawaii didn’t offer the sense of calm that was needed to put their lives and careers back in order.

This week, the SUV that one sister was driving plunged off a 200-foot cliff. Witnesses reported what they described as a hair pulling fight over the steering wheel. The twin that was driving was killed. Reportedly, the sister pulling her hair was arrested and charged on second-degree murder charges.

The defendant was subsequently released when a Maui judge found there was no probably cause for a murder charge. She was released in time to get back to the United States for her sister’s funeral. What a sad time! The incident is currently under investigation.

Fortunately, my Canadian friend and his twin brother are enjoying a very different kind weekend. The very thought is nice to consider.

All My Best!



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