The Good Twin
My name is Pamela Anne Kumpe, and initially, I was going to be named Anna Lynn, at least that’s what my parents planned until my birth.
Then the news of two babies, identical twins, changed everything. For five glorious minutes, I had a crib and a bedroom to myself—until my sister showed up, crying, and announcing her arrival into this world. So my twin’s name is Melody Lynne Johnson, and we each received a part of the original “Anna Lynn” for our middle names.
My mom couldn’t tell us apart, so those baby bracelets from the hospital were on our ankles until we outgrew them. And then, mom kept a supersized pink diaper pin on the shirt of the twin she called Pamela so that she wouldn’t mix us up. (Could it have been she pinned Melody and had already gotten us confused? We’ll never know.)
Mom and Dad each adopted a twin during the night—so they could rest in intervals since we started as double trouble. When a cry from down the hallway soared through the shadows, Mom would nudge Dad—and Dad would nudge Mom. And each would say, “That’s your baby crying.”
Now I’m not sure how they knew the difference, unless of course, since Melody had the pretty name, she cried in tune. However, my name means honey—and I probably cried with a sweetness of love.
By high school, we were anything but sweet and used our “identical looks” to do things we’d come to regret. Once, we swapped classrooms, so the smart twin (Melody) could take a test to help my grade. (Yes, we got caught.)
We also traded guys on double dates, which was oddly weird and fun, and we opted to trick our boyfriends (for a prank) at the prom—but they broke up with us by the end of the night. (Yes, we stopped trading guys after that night.)
But there’s no doubt, we’ve become the best friends—for life—through crib sharing, floor crawling, and crazy twin adventures with plenty of honey and music along the way.
As for my twin, Melody, she doesn’t write books like me—but once she wrote a poem on August 22, 2009, on a small piece of paper. We were sharing our hearts and sitting on a bench in the shade of a historical town when she grabbed a pen. She wrote this:
You may not think I think of you. I think of you all the time. You may not think I wonder. I wonder all the time. You may not think I pray for you. I pray for you all the time. Who knew—I’d think, I’d wonder. And I’d pray. (By Melody Johnson)
She wrote this for her children, Holly and David—on a day when life felt hard when the music in the breeze brushed across her face off-key.
We’re all writing poetry, and the lines of the poem carry meaning and purpose with hopes and dreams. And yes, regrets. But each step we take matters and God is with us through those moments when we get it wrong, to bring us through the night, so we can get it right. Or to remind us to do better in the new day, that’s before us.
My story began—the day God had a “thought” and split my world into two precious parts. My life. And that of my twin sister, Melody. He knew I’d need someone to share my crib with even though she cried more than me. And somehow, I think she’d say the same: we share one heart and always have, from the start.
So I’m handing Melody this title, “good twin” one that I often claim belongs to me. But she’s earned it by being my sister and putting up with me! And she probably doesn’t know it, but I think of her all the time! And I wonder, and I pray for her! Because no matter what, she’s a gift to my life. But thankfully, we’re not sharing a crib anymore! (Besides, we wouldn’t fit.)