The resemblance between Krista Lister and her identical twin sister Nancy Cooper, murdered Cary mother of two, is not surprising; it is very close. But for all they had in common for 35 years, there was one glaring difference, Krista could not have children.
Krista, "I can't have kids - couldn't for as long as, you know, I've been an adult. So it was never in the cards for me to have kids."
Krista says she and her sister had even talked about Nancy becoming a surrogate so Krista could experience the joy that Nancy so loved.
"I lost half of me. So, um, it's just something that you can't ever get back. It's a friendship and it's a sisterhood that isn't replaceable," said Krista.
Nancy's violent death was a huge loss to Krista and to Nancy's kids however, it has also resulted in a small blessing to Krista; Nancy's two and four-year-old daughters Katie and Bella.
Krista offered, "It's definitely a way that I can stay close to her. It's definitely a way that I can at least keep her legacy going. And it helps me. But, uh, it's, yeah, not the way I would have wanted."
Krista agrees that raising her sister's daughters is at least a small consolation for her and the girls.
The girls call Krista, "Krista mum" and according to Krista, have apparently always called her this.
Krista and her parents, who both live in Nancy's native country Canada, won temporary custody of the girls early on.
After the girls' dad, Brad Cooper, was finally arrested in Nancy's murder, they got full custody.
Now, Krista, her husband, and the grandparents dote on the girls, preparing for the day when they'll fully understand the awful circumstances that gave them a new family.
When asked about how the kids are adjusting Krista offered, "They're adjusting extremely well. They're kids and they're doing very, very well, way more resilient than us adults."
This week Krista, and Nancy's best friend from Cary, Hannah Prichard, are vacationing with their families on the Carolina Coast.
Bella and Katie are there with them, but they never knew ABC11 was interviewing their new mother. Krista's under court order to keep them out of the media spotlight.
Krista, "They support me and I support them and we're doing great."
The family will be back in Cary on Friday in time for a kickoff gala for Nancy's Butterfly Fund Saturday night. Proceeds from the fund will help victims of domestic violence escape their abusers. Tickets are sold out but you can find out more about the fund through their website at www.nancysbutterflyfund.org.