Twin sisters celebrate 100th birthday and open up about their long lives together
Centenarian twins Norma Matthews and Edith Antonecchi have had a long life.
And they’ve gone through each stage of their lives together.
“People love that we’re still together,” Norma told The Washington Post. “We’ve done everything together since the day we were born.”
The sisters have been there for each other through all the ups and downs of life.
“Edy was always there for me, and I was always there for her,” Norma said. “Whenever I’d get sick, Edy would somehow know. She’d call me up or come rushing over to make sure I was okay.”
Just like every family, it wasn’t always smooth sailing.
They’d have their sibling rivalries but always got over it.
“You put a penny in your pocket, it doesn’t jingle. You put two pennies in your pocket, they jingle.”
It was something their grandmother would always tell them. The sisters were born in Revere, Mass., and were raised by a single mom.
“We didn’t have it easy, but we had a lot of fun,” Edy said. “We made our own fun.”
After high school, Edy worked as a nurse and Norma worked as a hairdresser. They both got married within three months and later lived near each other for 51 years. They were never more than two cities apart or a bus or train ride away.
“For the first time, we’d be living apart,” Norma said. “So we decided it was important that we always lived as close as we could to each other.”
Norma married Charles Matthews on Valentine’s Day in 1943. They raised three children and lost one of their daughters at the age of 2.
Edy married Leo “Chick” Antonecchi three months after her sister got married.
Edy and Leo had two sons, one of whom passed away four years ago. Leo died of a car accident in 1994, followed by Charles who had Alzheimer’s.
Their husbands both passed away within several months of each other.
After that, the sisters decided to move to Florida together.
They live in a mobile home park and get around to the church, grocery store, and senior citizen events through the kindness of their friends and neighbors.
“Edy is more quiet, and Norma is the chatty one,” neighbor Margaret Shaffer said. “If you take them to a restaurant, Norma is gone — she has to get up and talk to everyone. But they both light up the room.”
The sisters say they have a twin connection. Edy would be able to feel if Norma way sick.
When Norma would think about calling her sister, the phone would ring with Edy on the other end.
About 50 people flew into St. Petersburg for their 100th birthday in December 2021. They are kind of like local celebrities.
“We couldn’t be without each other,” Norma told Tampa Bay Times.
“We came together, we go together,” Edy said.
“I’d do anything for Edy,” said Norma.” She’s my everything.”