The Bilyak sisters from the US

The Bilyak sisters from the US

Dianne & Christine Bilyak

Since it’s May 15, my sister and I, though not twins, are the same age. We’re born a year apart but overlap between May 14-May 17. Today we are both 55, or five five or two fives, as Chris likes to say.

This year, due to the global pandemic, we’ve spent a lot more time together. Now she claims we’re twins every day. She’s still older, of course, but there’s something sweet about her wanting us to be the same on some level all the time.

It’s also been interesting to have my memoir, Nothing Special: the Mostly True, Sometimes Funny Tales of Two Sisters, published about us come out during the pandemic. Over the years, as I was writing it, I imagined us touring a bit and doing readings together. I still hope that happens. Though I wrote the book, I want her to be out there more, for people to experience our story by also connecting with her.

There’s so much to learn from siblings of people with Down syndrome. Parents, educators, and researchers can garner so much from siblings and how they interact with each other.

But, for today, my “twin” and I will be having cake with our mother and both be asking for a second piece. Then she’ll get her daily iced, decaf coffee when I drive her home while we sing, “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing.”

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