For Nova Scotia’s Villa Acadienne nursing home, Dec. 19 was a rare occasion — a 100th birthday celebration for identical twins.
Family members say the twins, Delphine LeBlanc and Delina Comeau, are a testament to the rewards of living right.
“They ate well, they went to bed early, they didn’t drink, they didn’t smoke,” says Delina’s daughter, Marie Comeau.
“They always took very good care of each other.”
Family members joined staff and members of the public to express their birthday wishes at the main entertainment room at the nursing home in Meteghan, N.S.
Rita LeBlanc, one of Delphine’s seven children — all of them daughters — marvelled at the twins’ lives.
“They always make sure they dress the same,” LeBlanc says.
“They would always meet to see if one was going to church or how she was going.”
From the time they were born in 1919, in the aftermath of the First World War, Delphine and Delina have lived within minutes of each other, in the Nova Scotia Acadian region of Clare.
They raised separate families, but all the while, the twins remained inseparable — even more so in recent decades, since their husbands passed away.
“I’m glad we’re together,” said Delphine.
When asked what made her proudest, Delina pointed to her sister.
As a local country music band played Happy Birthday, staff presented the twins with a large birthday cake, adorned with the plain but prominent number, “100.”
At times, they’ve been double trouble. Delina’s granddaughter, Leslie Woolaver, notes they once decided against taking medication, because they didn’t think they needed it.
But based on their longevity, it’s hard to argue with the results.
Studies have shown identical twins live longer than most people, suggesting that companionship could be a key to a longer life. Woolaver says their curiosity has served them well.
“They’re always so curious about what’s going on in the community,” Woolaver said. “We say ‘gossip is a bad word,’ but it’s not so much gossip. It’s just keeping in tune with what’s going on, and making sure that they’re plugged in.
“And I think that was what contributed to their long life.”
They participate in activities put on by the Villa, where they share a room together. There are challenges, including Delina’s broken hip a few years ago, and her current bout with bronchitis.
But at their birthday party, as in every day of their lives, they reap the rewards of a life well-lived.
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