Saturday, April 30, 2011


        For many years Janine and I have corresponded with pen-pals and it is was always No.1 on our list of hobbies.  We even had the pleasure of meeting some of these pen-pals - Vicki from the U.S.A., Dominique from Switzerland and Sue from England. I will never forget the enjoyable afternoon we had at The Ruins Restaurant in the popular Jamaican tourist resort of Ocho Rios when we met our mom's pen-pal Dorothy whom she had already corresponded with for over 60 years.
       Since Janine's death in 2008 I have kept in contact with many of her former pals. Robby from Italy has been a great friend as she has helped me throughout these challenging times with positive words in emails and our chats on Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, Yahoo Chat and MSN.
      This poem that I have written sums up how I feel about this hobby and I know that Janine shared this opinion during her time here on earth.


For many years I have been pen-palling,
A hobby I have found fulfilling.
So much I have learnt,
From persons on this earth.

People live many miles apart,
But are quite similar at heart.
Interesting people, customs, places to learn about,
A wealth of information there is absolutely no doubt.

Sharing tales of failure, success, joy and sorrow,
You build a strong friendship for tomorrow.
The day may come when pen-pals meet
Each other like long lost friends they greet.

Thursday, April 28, 2011



       Throughout the years Janine and I have always had dogs as pets.  As a matter of fact at times we had several dogs and I mean as many as 6 or more!  Our dogs have enjoyed our environment as living on a farm they have a lot of land that they could run around freely on.  Although all dogs are treated well you can't help but have one or two favourites.  The names of our favourites that immediately come to mind were Nerrie and Nellie.  In recent times Dobie and Waggy featured in the pictures above have been our favourites.

        I sometimes wonder if our dogs could tell the difference between my twin sister and me. Why?! It always seemed as if each dog preferred one twin over the other.  This is because the dog would be quick to greet and stay close to one twin more than the other.  They clearly knew that we were two individuals although we looked so much alike.

       During the short time that Janine was ill they never failed to rush in the room whenever they came into our house as if to see how she was doing. They even looked puzzled at times as they seemed to wonder why she wasn't up and about with me as usual!

      The strangest thing occurred the first morning after her death. She died just before noon on Thursday, October 16, 2008. I do not know if they saw when the undertakers removed her body. It is a situation that I could not deal with so I went into a room. Normally they would rush into the house every morning and be up and about wagging their tails and acting lively. Instead that morning they laid on the carpet and were unusually quiet.  Did they also realize that Janine was no longer with us?  We will never know but animals sometimes appear to know more than what we credit them for.

      I have been able to write several poems since Janine's death and I am sure if she was with me she would agree with every word in this poem:

Are you willing to take a bet
And guess which animal is my favourite pet?
I will gladly tell you that dogs are the best,
I have always preferred them over the rest.

They are ready and eager to protect us,
Willing to keep our company without a fuss.
They show such amazing intelligence,
Standing by our side with diligence.

They even seem to smile,
Wagging their tails for awhile.
No one should dare to intrude,
As any invasion changes a dog's mood.

My dog Dobie can pull a gate,
And does it at a quick rate.
He acts like a potential track star,
Seeming to favour hurdling by far.

Dogs are really smart,
And are dear to my heart.
Oh how I wish I still had four,
They are man's best friend for sure.

Monday, April 25, 2011



     By Judy Haughton-James

       On November 4, 1961 my identical twin sister Janine and I arrived in the world at the Port Maria Hospital in the parish of St.Mary on the Caribbean island of Jamaica. A few days later we were taken on the 61/2 mile uphill journey to start life with the rest of our family on our farm in the cool hills of Boyne Park. This was the beginning of almost 47 years of glorious country life filled with bliss, peace and tranquility.

       Today as I reminisce on these years that ended on October 16, 2008, when my twin sister passed away, it is our interest in birdwatching that brings back some very special memories.  Living in an environment where there was a wide wide variety of trees and flowers  guaranteed regular visits by our feathered friends.  As a matter of fact even when we were not yet out of bed in the morning the chirping of birds heralded the break of dawn.  During spring time they became our handy 'alarm clock' as we knew that it was just after 5 a.m.
     Whenever we sat on our verandah we were not only caressed by a cool breeze but a breathtaking view of hills and mountains with the blue sky and Caribbean sea seeming to hug each other. In the midst of this our feathered friends appeared in a dazzling array of colours.  The top 3 for us were among those that would win any popularity contest among Jamaican bird lovers.  Taking top spot was our national bird the Jamaican Streamer Tail Hummingbird.  You would have no doubt as to how he received his national status.  He moves swiftly with his iridescent green plumage shining gold or electric blue in the brilliant sunshine of our 'Island in the sun.' Equally alluring are his 8" - 10" long black tail feathers.

    The Bananaquit and Jamaican Tody take the next 2 spots with the Bananaquit boasting black, white and yellow feathers while the Jamaican Tody's chubby body is blessed with vivid emerald green on the upper parts and an outstanding scarlet throat.

   There were many occasions when we didn't even have to see one of our country's handsome birds, The Jamaican Woodpecker, to know that he lurked in  our midst.  The tapping of a strong beak against a tree trunk had our eyes roaming as we attempted to glimpse him relishing his favourite dish of ants on a coconut tree.

    This love of birds took on greater proportions as we started collecting stamps, postcards, pictures, calendars and just about any item with a bird on it. However a huge display unit filled with figurines of birds from around the world now takes pride of place in our living-room.

    As I sit looking at this collection I see a special memorial to my twin.  What else can I do but shout "I am proud to be a country woman!" Only such an environment could have given me these treasured memories.



Wednesday, April 20, 2011


      From Good Friday ( April 22) - Easter Monday (April 25) we celebrate a long holiday weekend in Jamaica and here I share pictures of some of Janine's favourite Easter decorations.  At Easter 2009 I was able to decorate our home after being unable to do so the first Christmas after her death. I thought I could not decorate our home ever again then suddenly I said to myself "Why not decorate the living-room table with Janine's favourite Easter decorations?" Number 1 on her list was the Easter wooden bunny which she got from her German pen-pal Heidi. Some years after that her Swedish pen-pal Carin sent her some decorative Easter eggs and lavender and yellow feathers.  She also got some  little yellow chicks from another German pal Claudia.  Here in Jamaica it is not really the custom to decorate our homes at Easter but I am glad that her pen-pals sent these decorations so that I can use them and remember the Easter holidays we celebrated together.

      Many Christians including myself consider this a very important time of the year when we reflect on what Christ did for us. As I think of His death and resurrection, I know that my twin sister is not confined to a grave. She is a in better place and we will meet again some day. I take comfort in these Bible verses:
    "In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also." -John 14: 2-3

   "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live." John 11:25

     Easter is always a time for Easter eggs, chocolate, fish and Jamaican bun and cheese.  Escoveitched fish was always a big favourite for Janine and of course it has also been one of my favourite dishes. We start eating it from midday Holy Thursday. Escoveitched fish and bread were all we needed to see until Easter Sunday. We also had our fair share of bun and cheese.  Our favourites have been those from HTB, Yummy, Whitfield and Purity which were usually rich in currants, raisins,cherries and dried fruit.

       Holidays are never easy for me these days but I will recall all the good times that Janine and I had and make the best of this Easter. I wish everyone who celebrates this special time of the year a HAPPY EASTER!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011



       From time to time something happens that shocks you and turns your whole world upside down and oh how you wish it was just a bad dream. It is so difficult to face reality that you feel dazed as if you have woken up suddenly and still feel very tired.

       After my twin sister's death I went through a long period with very little sleep during the night.  I was never one to dream much and just could not imagine getting enough sleep to even dream!

      Miraculously the night before her funeral I managed to get a short period of sleep and had what I regard as  a very special dream. My twin and I were out together, dressed alike as usual and both looked hale and hearty.  I was so surprised and said to myself "How come I am so lucky that my twin is dead, yet she is here with me?"

       Anyone who doubts the powerful effect of a special dream can check me.  I found myself with an unbelievable strength at her funeral.  I am someone with a strong Christian faith and I saw this as God assuring me that although my twin had died and was being buried she would still be with me in spirit.

        When you are one of twins you enter this world with company and find yourself living in a fantasy world that here is company for life.  When your twin dies you are jolted by reality and it is not an easy road to travel.

         This special dream is always there for me to recall and it has helped me during many low moments.  Since then I have seen my twin in several dreams and look forward to having many more. What is particularly interesting is that so far this has been the only dream in which I remembered that my twin was dead.

Monday, April 18, 2011


 It is amazing to see how nature can have an impact on us. I find that it is a good way to lift my spirit.

By Judy Haughton-James

I am on a journey immersed in nature's ultimate bliss.
I stare intently at the Blue Caribbean Sea.
Where I am it seems distant and calm.
Serenity flows through my mind, body and soul.
At a time like this the word blue only means the sea's hue.

Water gently flows in a stream or briskly down a waterfall.
This is a sight to behold on my tropical isle,
Dunn's River Falls, no doubt the most famous of them all.
Once called Xaymaca, the land of wood and water,
Now renown as Jamaica, land we love.

A cool breeze pats my face and gently ruffles my hair.
It seems to tease, yet the words "Peace, be still" come to mind.
A beautiful butterfly stops by flowers as it enjoys spring in all its glory.
It moves as if dancing to the rhythm of a Caribbean beat.
It could be reggae or calypso, both always give me that lift.

The best moment is when I see a bird flying by with not a care in the world.
It has wind beneath its wings as it flits here and there.
Immediately I speak to the Great Hero beneath my wings.
The Prince of Peace, the Heavenly Father, who gives me
All the strength I need on this journey called life.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


When you lose your twin at times life feels like it is on a roller coaster ride. Some days are normal and  on other days you feel down and out. One minute you feel strong and you can deal with the loss, another minute the slightest thing makes you sad. A few days ago I joined the website for one of my former schools and I was trying to add Janine's name to the 'IN MEMORY' section which lists the year and the names of the persons who have died. I was having difficulty but thanks to one of the persons who runs the site, her name has been added. I went to the page this afternoon and on seeing her name beside 2008 with a red rose I felt so sad.  Luckily I had some work to do at Writing.Com that quickly occupied my time. Strangely enough on another day maybe I would feel stronger and not be so affected. Anyway as soon as I feel better I will send her picture and add some words beside her name but I can't manage it today.  That is what I call the roller coaster ride!  Well, let me lift my spirit and again remember the words that I saw yesterday "H.O.P.E. - HOLDING ON, PRAYING EARNESTLY!"

Friday, April 15, 2011


Well, I have a busy weekend ahead of me at Writing.Com as all of us in the WDC Power Review group do our Spring Review Raid.  We will concentrate on reviewing  items with a Nature/Environment theme.  Nevertheless I hope I can still find moments for quiet time.  I remember that for quite some time after Janine's death silence was something that I could not deal with!  Happily I have reached a stage when I can tolerate quiet time.


Quiet time is essential for me,
You should try it and you will see.
Rejuvenates the mind, body and soul,
Gives you the spark to be bold.

It is a time to meditate,
To that I am sure everyone can relate.
My thoughts are deep and reflective
I look at things from a different perspective.

Ideas rush into my mind like a flowing river,
I reflect on the past and look to the future.
I surely have had my fair share of sorrow,
Nevertheless I hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


     On Tuesday I signed up on the website of one of my former high schools, St. Mary High. We certainly had some fun times during our school days and of course we had many of our schoolmates confused. The vast majority just settled for the name 'Twiney' as they could not tell the difference. Janine and I liked dressing alike so being in a country where you had to wear school uniforms created no problem for us.  Janine was usually the one who decided on the hair styles while I handled the money matters for school.  It was interesting how we divided various roles.
     Strangely enough so many persons still mistakenly call me Janine even though she passed away 2 years ago. It does not disturb me at all. It reminds me of the fun times we had.  Persons can call my twin's name as many times as they want to as I will never be able to stop talking about her. This bond formed in the womb is here to stay.
      Over the years Janine was always the one with the bright smile in pictures and I would say that she was more outgoing. Nevertheless without any effort on my part I tend to be more like her these days. I have heard other twinless twins state that they have also noticed this following the death of their twins. Members of my family have also pointed this out to me.
       The early months after Janine's death were particularly difficult. It is not easy facing a mirror which shows the exact image of your twin. Even when I heard my own voice it made me very sad as it sounded so much like Janine's voice. What was also quite challenging was when some thing happened and I was about to head to Janine to tell her only to realize that she was no longer around.
       It has been a difficult road to travel but if I had the chance to live again I would be happy to be Janine's twin again.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011



Like two peas in a pod we were,
Very few could tell the difference for sure.
Delighted in the fact that God made us alike,
Amazing were our similar likes and dislikes.

Blue, red, green and pink were our favourite colours,
Roses have always been our favourite flowers.
Hobbies were listening to music, watching television and reading,
With number one spot taken by pen-palling.

Treasured our bird figurine collection,
That grew into a wide selection.
They came from north, south, east and west,
Yet dogs were always our pets.

If I had a chance to live my life again,
I would fear to face twinless pain.
Cancer a disease so gruesome
Has ended our happy twosome.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I am always happy to see  quotations that lift my spirit daily. I have found the Daily Quotations sent out by Jonathan Lockwood Huie to be particularly helpful and I use them for my Facebook Status from time to time.  This morning I received a wonderful one by Ryunosuke Satoro:- "Individually we are one drop, Together we are an ocean." Since I lost my twin I have found support from others and I am thankful to the Twin Loss Yahoo Group, The Path Twins Take and The Twinless Twins Group on Facebook for the opportunity to link with other twinless twins. I am also happy that another twinless twin Angela has started a Blog here titled 'ENJY'S PLACE.'  Angela is an early loss twin while I am a late loss twin but I have learnt so much about the strong bond of twinship from those who lost a twin early. We are on the same journey and together we can ease the pain. By the way, last night I joined the Experience Project and even posted an article in the Twinless Twins Group. I hope to learn more about this group as time passes.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


        Today is the third anniversary of the death of Linda twin to Brenda. I know what a day like this means. Those of us who have lost a twin can fully understand.  Nevertheless we try our best to deal with it as time passes. I wish Brenda a peaceful day as she goes to Muskogee and enjoy the flowers blooming in Honor Heights Park. I find peace amidst nature. Over the years Janine and I liked flowers with roses being our favourites.
       I linked up with Brenda on the Twin Loss Yahoo group and she has been such a good friend sending me uplifting emails regularly and a wonderful book titled 'HEALING GRIEF' by James Van Praagh.  It is amazing how at times we have not met someone personally but he/she has been really genuine and helpful during challenging times.  As I think of having peace of mind I share this poem that I wrote titled 'PEACE OF MIND.'


In our lives we come across moments of stress,
We often wonder how we will put our minds to rest.
In everything try your very best,
Make sure you are not the cause of any distress.

Let no one disturb your peace of mind,
Endeavour at all times to be kind.
Relax your mind and unwind,
You have to be strong in this time.

See setbacks as lessons to be learnt,
You will meet them as long as you are on earth.
Life is filled with challenges to overcome,
Have faith and your journey has begun.

I regard each day as a gift,
Always trusting in God to give me that lift.
I look forward to a brighter day,
And live in hope all the way.

Friday, April 8, 2011



      I have just read an amazing report shared by another twinless twin Angela from Germany. It was about 92 year old twin brothers from Brazil who died a few hours apart.  They have always been together and one had to go to a hospital far away. He died there and a few hours later his twin also passed away.  I think it would have been very difficult if one of them was left.
       This story brought to mind the times when Janine and I would discuss what would happen if one of us died first. We thought it would be great if we both died at the same time or I would say that I wanted to die first and vice versa.
      Since Janine's death, I have heard of the case of twins dying at the same time and it was always under rather tragic circumstances such as an accident, fire etc. Recently in my homeland, Jamaica, there was the sad case of young twin girls dying in a fire. That made me realize that this isn't the best thing to think.
      I give God thanks for the almost 47 years Janine and I were together. We did not die at the same time but at least I know the day will come when we meet again. Two years ago I never thought I could write a poem but tried the one below shortly after Janine's death.
                 JUD AND JAN
Jud and Jan from one came into the world as twins,
What a wonderful 47 years it has been,
We will never allow our twinship to dim.
We give glory to God who gave each of us a special friend,
One guaranteed right to the very end.

Together again we will unite,
Oh, that day will be bright.
Wow! What a wonderful sight!
Jud and Jan that is God's plan,
Greater than any coined by man!

     As I copy this poem from my journal  I realize that then I was still saying "WE!"

Thursday, April 7, 2011


We have been getting quite a bit of rain recently and it brings to mind the impact of rain shortly after my twin sister's death. Here I share a poem that I wrote during that time.


There is something about rain,
I just can't explain.
Makes me feel calm,
It is like a balm.

I don't like being out in the rain,
I prefer to watch it fall on my window-pane.
I also like to hear the pitter patter
Water everywhere making a splatter.

I wish it could drown my sorrow,
And make me see a brighter tomorrow.
I am longing to see a rainbow
When colours in the sky put on a show.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Last night I watched the very funny TWIN BOYS CONVERSATION video that has become  a sensation on the internet. I was really fascinated by it.  I can remember how at times Janine and I used to utter statements in unison or even finish each other's sentences. Equally amazing was the fact that sometimes I would rush to tell her something and she was about to say the same thing to me.  Twins have a very special bond that started in the womb. Dr. Raymond William Brandt in his book 'TWIN LOSS' referred to it as utero bonding. Right now I am thinking about something that happened last night. I was getting off of my bed and I said "I am going across to the bathroom."  I wondered how I made this statement as if I was saying this to Janine. The twin bond lives on even after death. As the statement goes " Once a twin, always a twin."

Friday, April 1, 2011



I go anxiously in search of books,
And can't think where next to look.
Then suddenly my eyes venture high,
To some grips and I let off a sigh!

Nevertheless I decided to search each grip,
And muttered to myself "Suppose one slips,"
With help I manage to get each to the ground,
And sensed relief as each landed sound.

So many things brought back wonderful memories,
But something special made me feel butterflies.
A beautiful small floral photo album was intact,
It looked so new I could not believe the fact.

I had forgotten it as I received it many years ago,
Now packaged in a plastic bag it seemed to glow.
Ah! Immediately the purpose for this I knew,
Despite not finding my books I did not feel blue.

I have no doubt that my departed twin led me to this treasure.
The real power of utero bonding is beyond measure.
This album now boasts several pictures of my departed twin,
As I view each page like a river happy times flow within.

A pink album beautifully decorated by cream lace,
Among my many albums takes pride of place.
Graced with a lovely flower,ribbon and circle of pearls,
Oh, how this album to me now means the world.

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