Never Walk Alone

My twin sister and I have already lost our mother. She died of Pick’s disease-which is a type of dementia. It was heart wrenching to see parts of her slip away. Our grieving started 2 years before she died; because a piece of her died every day. That was nearly a dozen years ago.

I recall with tears the days that we had to take precious things away from our mother: her beloved Buick, and her home. She had lost the ability to drive and to live safely in her own home.

Now, my twin sister is facing the sorrow all over again. Her mother-in-law has senile dementia. She is 95 years old and lost her husband about  2 years ago. She is no longer safe to drive, or to live alone. She has moved into my sister’s home. They didn’t have a downstairs bedroom, so they had to empty the den and create a bedroom. It is warm and inviting, but it is not home. Her mother in law misses her home. She misses driving. She asks every day where is her car? She needs to drive home. It is time for her to go home now. Every day my sister has to sit down and lovingly go through the same answers she gave her a few hours ago.

As we journey through life, there are days when we feel as though we are alone on our path. And we may be on the path alone, but people can stand by the wayside and offer water, fruit, and encouragement. Sometimes when people fall,  onlookers are allowed to assist them until they can carry on by themselves again.

I wish I could take my sister’s sorrow away. I wish I could make it not be her path. But it is her path. It is part of her journey. In some ways, I think it could be hurtful to a life journey to take away and alter what we are supposed to do. So I walk along the side. I offer water. I offer food. I step in when she starts to fall. Once she has gained her strength again, I have to go back to the sidelines and walk along the side. I watch to see when I am needed. I want to be ready to give her assistance.

I am close by. I believe our mother is close by. We stand at the ready.  Something wonderful about twins…what ever is happening to the one, the other feels it as though it were happening to her. So, while she may technically be alone during those long hours of concern and sorrow, I am with her in spirit and in energy.

I am reminded of the Rogers and Hammerstein song, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.

When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high,

and don’t be afraid of the dark.

At the end of the storm is a golden sky, and the sweet silver song of a lark.

Walk on through the wind,

Walk on through the rain

Though your dreams be tossed and blown,

Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart

And you’ll never walk alone, You’ll never walk alone”

And that is what it feels like to be a twin.

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My other half

Being a twin is hard for another person, single born, to really embrace.  You feel complete when you are with your twin, and you are somehow not whole when you are apart.  Without my twin, I couldn’t get through my storms in life because when we are together, I am stronger.  I can face it.  What is around the corner isn’t so scary….

I have identical triplet grandboys and I feel a certain connection with them.  I know how they are connected and will be connected throughout their lives.  Sure, they argue and fight – they are 3 years old now – but when they stand – they stand touching each other.  When they “sit around” they flop over one another’s limbs and torsos – without feeling weird about it.  It’s just what it is.  There’s no physical boundary between them because they touched the entire time they were developing.  They know no different reality.  I know that no matter what is in front of them – or how much they “fight” over day to day things, I know that they will help each other through their lives….I believe they came into this life together just for that purpose – to help each other out with the lives that are in front of them.

That’s how I feel about my twin….we came here to earth together to help each other live the lives that we had in front of us.  We came to accomplish a purpose that we would need each other in order to complete.

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Thunderstorm

I wonder if i would like thunderstorms if I were not a twin. That is a funny thing…I do not know what it would be like to grow up as an individual. I do not have any memory of laying in bed at night, alone, and hearing a thunderstorm. Would I have been frightened? Would I have run to my parents room? I just do not know. I didn’t have that situation.

When the thunder would roll, I had Kaye beside me. We would listen together. We often got out of bed and went to the window to see the lightening. As we got older and the family moved into a two story, Kaye and I had a room with dormers. We continued to do the same thing. Each one of our twin beds was under the dormer window. We would open the window, see the rain, hear the thunder, and marvel at the lightening. We had each other to comment to…ohh…ahh…that was a big one!…it was like watching the fire works.

If it was during the day, we would go outside and sit on the patio under the eave of the garage. Our wonder was the same.

Recently we went to West Baden Resort and Spa for our birthday trip. It is a beautiful hotel with a huge dome over the bigger than life atrium. It was one of the 8th wonders of the world at the time to have such a suspended dome. We go to relax and write. This trip a marvelous thunderstorm come through. We were just finishing a nice lunch when we heard the rain on the dome. That was a sound to hear! We had to rush out to claim the big wooden rocking chairs on their surround porch. We were certain everyone in the hotel would be running outside to sit and watch the storm. When we got to the porch, we had our choice of chairs. One family with little children were there. I was delighted to see them. Those children might also grow up to love the storms and not be frightened.

We rocked in our chairs, sipped our wine, commented on the beauty of the leaves as they roll over with the wind, and thought how like life storms can be. All is going along fine, when a storm whips up. Storms don’t wait until you are ready for them. You might sense one coming and try to prepare, but when they hit, they seem to be in control. And like life, it is easier to weather a storm with a friend. Perhaps our storm watching days were preparation for the storms we would face in our lives. Thankfully, we learned to embrace them. Just like the leaves, we may have to give to the current storm a little, but like the roots we can stay grounded.