MY TWIN SISTER
Her name was Alison Rae Schlesinger. She had cerebral palsy and was mentally challenged. She lived in an intermediate care facility (ICF) called Tanya Towers in New York City. She was extremely loving, kind, and childlike. She suffered heartbreak, loss, and faced many obstacles because of her disability, but her heart and soul were full of goodness. We were fraternal twins, but she was older than I by five minutes.
Alison and I reunited on June 25, 1990 at United Cerebral Palsy in New York City. That day was one of the hardest I’ve ever faced—and the most rewarding. Reuniting with my twin sister let me move beyond the pain of our twenty-four year separation. Rekindling our relationship helped me become whole and overcome my guilt, shame, and insecurities; it also helped Alison to know that she had a sister who loved her and cherished our time together. Alison passed away on March 11, 2018, but her spirit lives on in my heart and soul, and in the hearts and souls of everyone who loved her.