By Charles Towne

It has been my experience that everybody likes a good story, so, on that premise, I am going to tell you a story.

The Nielsen boys, Blake and Drake were brothers, twin brothers as a matter of fact.  You probably didn’t know them but you probably heard of the family.

Not only were they twin brothers but they lived in the same house, you know the one, that big old farmhouse over there in the valley with all the fancy gingerbread up in the eaves. That’s where the boys were born and raised.

Blake and Drake Nielsen also attended the same church, that little white church up on the hill that their parents had helped build, so it could be said they were twin brothers in the spirit as well as in the flesh. 

One day the brothers, the twin brothers, Blake and Drake Nielsen, for some strange reason had a falling out.
Nobody ever knew what caused the rift, all folks knew was the brothers stopped talking to each other. 

They, the Nielsen twins, Blake and Drake, still farmed the large farm their parents had left them.

Time passed.

They got up each morning, got dressed, carefully avoided any contact, rattled around in the kitchen as they cooked and ate breakfast, did their chores, studiously avoiding any eye contact, they existed.

The years passed.

Each Sunday they shined their shoes, got dressed in their Sunday finest, combed their hair, climbed into their truck and went to church, it is what they did.

Oh, and did I mention they were both deacons in the little church? 

More years passed.

As is the nature of life Blake and Drake, the Nielsen twins grew older.

So much time had passed that neither of the brothers, neither Blake or Drake Nielsen could remember what had caused their falling out to begin with.

Fifty years passed.

In those fifty years, Blake and Drake studiously avoided each other and didn’t speak fifty words to each other in all that time.

Blake and Drake, the Nielsen twins, in their eighty’s, within days of each other, died, two lonely old men. 

The Nielsen twins, Blake and Drake, were buried in the family plot behind the little white church on the same day.

Nobody ever knew the cause of the rift between the two Nielsen twins Blake and Drake, but everybody thought it was precious that they were buried side by side in the family plot behind the little white church on the hill.

Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.


  1. Thank you Charles.You always paint such a vivid picture with your words.
    Family is so complicated isn’t it?I wonder how many of us can relate to something similar within our family tree!!!

  2. This article reminded me of a man I worked with many years ago who hadn’t spoken to his father in many years. As an EMT with a volunteer fire department we had taken his father to the hospital late one night suffering from a cardiac event. The following morning at work I asked Bill how his dad was doing. He looked at me puzzled so I told him about the call we had the night before and he shrugged his shoulders as if to say “whatever”. It was a valuable lesson for me to never allow anything to drive a wedge between the members of our family – and it never has.

  3. Oh Mike, what a lesson, what a valuable lesson! The way I see it This could be interpreted as a form of dementia. Being able to forgive has to be an incredible gift from a loving God. I know a woman that has conjured ill feelings against her mother until it has become what she perceives as HER reality based on hate. How very sad. Holding a grudge against someone is like embracing a deadly snake, it is to our own detriment. Let it be said that we are genuine christians to all we meet. Bless you my dear friend and thanks for the comment. Chaz

  4. Dear NH, the way it seems to me is that some family trees aren’t trees at all, but like the giant hog bane, a deadly poison to all that contacts it. Bless you my dear friend and may love radiate through your entire life and may that same love bless you and yours in all you do. Chaz

  5. Dear sir, perpetuating hate as a way of life seems like such a horrible waste of time. I knew a woman that died with this type of angst controlling her life, she was the saddest person I have ever known. This must dissapoint God very much. A Friend

  6. What a sad story…and sadly, more, that it happens too frequently. I do not know how people can not speak to each other…especially living in the same house! Nope…that is no way to live! Cherish, and forgive when necessary. It makes for a much better life…all the way around!
    Your ol’ chum,

  7. Dear Faithy, my sweet little girl, my joy and my delite, you are right, it is a sad story, and even though it has been conjured from the nether regions of my black little heart probably more common than we can possibly imagine. Holding on to resentment, for whatever reason, only harms the one unable to forgive for the object of our anger most likely has no clue why we are so angry. Please Papa God help us to be like our Lord Jesus in all ways for by following that path are we healed and made fit for heaven. Amen. Chaz

  8. Yes unfortunately, this happens way too often. Obviously pride is easier than forgiveness. Sad!
    It reminds me of a poem I heard at church several years ago…..
    Bitterness/unforgiveness does more harm to that in which it is stored, than to that on which it is poured. So true!!
    Thank you, Lord, for helping us truly love.

  9. Dear CSG, how very true. Please help us to be what you ask us to be. Thanks Father. Good on ya dear friend, Chaz

  10. I agree with Mudhen’s comments. One can’t savor life if in a constant state of resentment. Unfortunately, it seems that there are some who relish wallowing in self-pity. Why? Only God knows the reason, and understands.

  11. Yes Judith, but praise God that brokenness can be healed by a repentant heart, much love, and the love of Christ. Bless you dear heart. Chaz

  12. There really are so many estranged people in families. My guess is that Blake and Drake are more common than we would suspect. Blake and Drake, since they lived together, really should have gotten it together! Nowadays we often live far apart from each other geographically, making that estrangement so much more convenient. God help us all! 🙂

  13. Oh dear Kristin, how true, and yet so sad. But, when we have friends, real friends, genuine friends, even though, by whatever design the friendship is frought with separation, that friendship is most precious, almost sacred and to be cherished. That is a blessed friendship my friend, bless you dear friend, Chaz

  14. There is something so iconic about a little white church in thr countryside that it is hard to imagine how brothers and deacons to boot could go there weekly and still harbor such resentment and anger! after a time it just became a habit and neither wanted change because “that’s the way things are!” Some of the greatest sorrow is not caused by horrific events, but by a quiet process that seems to drag on slowly and quietly, unnoticed untill it is too late! Please teach me Papa God, to forgive when I need to!

  15. Dear Herb and Susette, it is my experience that people being people, sad as it may seem, are often most sad toward those that they should be the most loving toward. I have seen some that harbored great hostility toward family for little or no cause. Pride can be a killer, a destroyer of relationships. Help us o Holy one to treat others with mercy and love. May our Abba bless you folks and hold you close, Chaz

  16. Richard, you are so right! I have to ask, HOW CAN IT BE POSSIBLE that animosity can grow to such a degree that it can seemingly destroy families? My dear Nancy has a son that for really no reason has abandoned his mother. In over twenty two years he rarely makes any effort to contact his mother. Ten times in all that time. This after praising her as the best mama. I have never heard a cruel word from my wife in spite of her illness!
    Some people don’t know how to cope with the illness of a loved one. Thanks Richard and many blessings to you and yours, Chaz

  17. Good morning my dear brother Charles! Your story points out the need of a mediator in our lives to help us break through our fears and misunderstandings so that they don’t become a root of bitterness that grows into hedge of separation and hate. We need that for our earthly relationships and even more so our heavenly ones. I am so blessed that Jesus is there for us in both our horizontal and vertical times of need. Be blessed!!!


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