l Tended to My Disabled Twin When Our Parents Divorced, Years Later He Tends to My Kids in Return — Story of the Day

This is the story of twin brothers who were each other’s childhood until fate tore them apart. Years later, they did stand a chance to meet again—but will things ever be the same between them?


I can’t remember a single afternoon in our childhood when Toby and I weren’t throwing pebbles at the old lake in our hometown, talking about our dreams and fears, and theories.

We lived in the poorest house on the block, yet we were the happiest kids in the neighborhood. “Twin Tornados,” they would call us, knowing our love for mischief and chaos. I bet many of the older men and women didn’t even know our names were Toby and Trevor.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Getty Images

We were identical twins, and I don’t think the world would’ve been able to tell us apart had it not been for Toby’s wheelchair.

My champion, my Toby, was diagnosed with a disability that made him wheelchair-borne when we were only four. And the chair may have confined his feet, but never his spirit. Toby loved every sport, and he was the only one who could put my best basketball moves to shame.

He and I grew up knowing each other better than we knew ourselves. We knew how best to prank each other, defend each other in front of bullies, and cheer each other up.

There was one phase in our lives when I saw Toby at his weakest. It was back when we were 15, and things were going from bad to worse between our quarreling parents.

I remember thinking about my kids and my brother before blacking out in pain.
Our mom was a woman who was always cursing herself for marrying our dad, telling us how he had broken all his promises of a comfortable life.

And our dad was a man who believed in doing more for his friends than for his family. Despite us being dirt poor and barely having enough to fill our stomachs, he would spend whatever little he had to help friends in crisis.

This difference between mom and dad became bigger and bigger until it made them bitter and resentful.

When they sat us down one day and told us they were getting divorced, Toby broke down, begging them to work things out.


“I already have a broken body; please don’t give me a broken home!” he had cried, pleading with the parents.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Getty Images

But the adults had already made their decision. And Toby was devastated. I was heartbroken, too. But I had to be strong for my sweet brother, who would remain holed up in the little bedroom. While mom and dad were busy fighting in lawyer’s offices and courts, Toby had a fever that just wouldn’t go away.

For weeks, I was the only one who cared for him during those days, making him soup, giving him sponge baths, and calming him when he cried in pain.

And it tore my world apart when my parents finally got divorced and decided to keep one of us each. They separated us, the happiest of kids, in a heartbeat. How could they do that?

For years, I grew up with my father, trying desperately to find out about Toby, asking old friends, sneaking into dad’s room, and going through dad’s wallet or phone for a clue. But after years of finding no answers, I guess I made my own peace with it. I was probably never going to see Toby again.

Life took over, dad passed away, and at the age of 24, I met and married the woman of my dreams. I grew up with little money, and my struggles with money didn’t seem to end even after I was a grown man with a wife and two kids. We still knew how to be happy with the little we had. But one tragedy changed everything.


There was a fire in our neighbor’s home, and my wife died trying to save the older woman who lived inside.

I was now the mother and father to my babies, Jeff and Millie. They were the only family I had left. Or so I thought.

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One night, when I was crying myself to sleep, I got a phone call. The voice I heard was unmistakable. It reached down and grabbed my heart, and I felt like I could breathe again.

“Toby! How are you, brother? I’ve missed you…terribly…” My voice trembled, and my knees dropped to the floor.

It turns out my mom and brother had moved to a different country altogether. Toby grew up in a life very different from mine. He revealed that our mother had died shortly after they moved to Spain, and Toby was left to fend for himself before he turned 18.

But he took these troubles in his stride, earned and paid for his own education, and excelled at every job – until now, he had become the regional manager of a bank in my city.

I remember being unable to sleep out of the excitement of meeting my brother again after all those years. We were to meet at a cafe the very next day.

But once again, fate dealt me a bad hand…

The moment I spotted my brother from across the street, the moment I took my first steps to cross the road to him, a car came speeding down the road, and I flew in the air before landing a few feet away, unconscious. I remember thinking about my kids and my brother before blacking out in pain.

Two days later, I opened my eyes to find myself in a hospital room with my daughters sitting next to me in bed. They were listening intently to some man in front of them, who was telling a story that sounded strangely familiar.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Getty Images

It was a story from my childhood. And the only other person on earth who knew that story was…

“Toby?! My goodness, Toby!” My brother and I hugged uncomfortably between the wheelchair and my hospital bed. I had dreamed of that embrace a million times. And it took me back to the time when we were boys, throwing pebbles at the lake, talking about taking over the world…

It had been decades since then, and owing to my accident, I was wheelchair-borne for a year. Toby found the laughter in that, too, calling us “Wheelchair tornado twins” and teaching me how to play basketball on wheels.

That whole year, when I was struggling to get back on my feet, literally and figuratively, Toby was at home, taking care of my kids, paying my bills, and finding us a new, better home to move into.

“You took care of me when I was shattered, and I can only try to do the same for you, Trevor,” he told me, wiping my tears.

When I finally came home on my feet one day, I found Toby teaching my girls the same innocent mischief I had once taught him.

I couldn’t believe we had found each other after all those years. Only this time, nothing was going to separate us for the rest of our lives.


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