Why We Value Our Friends As Our Family- Travels of the Texas Twins Events/Pawning Planners Team
Throughout the course of my life, I’ve had less than 4 very close friends as has my sister, Cindy Daniel because we “shared our circle of friends.” My reasons for this is that I’ve always been extremely close to my twin sister and in order to have a relationship with others, they must first accept that I’m a “package deal.” We are almost always together and twinning around town or at our event services.
Maryssa and Makenna struggled with similar issues in third grade with a friend who only wanted to be friends with Makenna one day or Maryssa the next- effectively “separating them from each other” which caused many hurt feelings.
Cindy and I have both been friends with Virginia Malone for some twenty years and consider her our surrogate mom. Virginia has never tried to “play one against the other” as she is first far too intelligent and second, knows the depths of our close relationship.
I have thousands of acquaintances around the world and many of my dedicated followers as well as social connections “feel they already know me” through my blogs because I effectively lay out the good, the bad and often the painful path I’ve been through to get where I wish to be. Nothing in my life has been easy but, I’m perseverant and there were two of us to travel the journey together as a team. I always try to address my readers questions quickly and am so thankful for my loyal followers on all of my blog sites who find my journey in the wedding and events industry with my Pawning Planners/Texas Twins Team as interesting as we often do!
Maryssa and Makenna realized after several months that their “fair weather friend” was not worthy of their time and certainly the pain of driving a wedge between the little Pawners of having to choose this new playmate or, each other. Naturally, they chose each other.
My dear friend, Carl Fonner died from complications of Diabetes while I was still living in Lakeside and even today, I miss him. The gap left from a friend who treated me as well as my son, sister and her children as part of his family.
Not accepting Cindy was effectively- a deal breaker for me. Carl and his family took my son and I on holidays with them and one year to Mexico to learn scuba diving because he believed that my painful custody battle was leaving me feeling insecure and he was of course, on target.
I was like the daughter he had never had and when we arrived to take the class, I was also panicky regarding the choppy waves left behind after an earthquake. Both of Carl and Julie’s sons were experienced divers and I was the lone “Gringo” trying to remember what to push or pull and retain key information while hearing the crashing surf and feeling seasick.
Once inside the boat Julie asked if I was sure this dive wouldn’t scare me- I lied too intimidated to admit that I was horrified, uncertain and confused as to what to do “down under.” My reason for this was this warm welcoming family had taken me on this trip to give me a break from working 3 jobs and enjoy a holiday. I didn’t want to let anyone down by having the old walk of shame and chickening out.
With waves lashing out at me sitting on the side of that boat, Carl looked me in the face and said “you don’t have to do this you know just tell Julie you are afraid and we will find many other activities to do here if you feel panicked.” I didn’t and fell backwards into the abyss with snot flying out of my nose and blinded by the unsettled sea bottom, an undertow pulled me over coral and I suffered cuts to my hands, thighs and legs moments after my dive.
What happened next is still a blur but they got me back into the boat and while at a Mexican Hospital getting stitches, Carl asked why I had gone ahead since he knew from my eyes that I was horrified of what lay ahead on the sea bottom. I told him that as a child I had been too uncertain of myself to even carry a conversation without stuttering and as an adult I would not allow my fear to define me.
Carl’s answer to this statement still rings in my head “that was the bravest thing my family had ever seen for you to risk everything and try the dive knowing you were terrified.” My stitches would become infected during the trip and I would wreck my scooter on a journey to the Mayan Ruins, eat a hot dog from the plaza and see things that I had never seen before while doing things that I had never imagined myself capable of.
I went back out on that boat and successfully completed that dive with Julie and her son the following year thankful that I had pushed myself back into something that I was far from comfortable doing.
Friendship is based on trust, without it the relationship will surely fail and my friendship with the Fonner Family taught me that in order to achieve anything, you had to “put some skin in the game” by trusting your friends and taking the risk that if something went wrong, they would be by your side. You must build trust by sharing your life with your friends and that my friend, can sometimes involve risk if you don’t have a trusting relationship. After all, sharing your fears and your history with someone is never as easy as it may sound but, I’ve been through many things that although painful to revisit, give me peace that I never have to go through them all over again. By talking about it with a trusted friend, I’m learning to close the book on the dark days of my divorce and the dreams lost trying to build a life with both of my ex husbands. Some things were just not meant to be but, I always tell all of our children that “you can’t find Mr Right if you are married to Mr Wrong.”
There have been times that my friends along with my twin sister were able to make me laugh when I was stressed to the max and needed a “lighthearted moment” to get me through an event or ceremony. Tammi and Cindy along with Angela have often had me laughing so hard that I had tears in my eyes! Big personalities with no filter, my team is fairly funny most of the time and can convey their thoughts with “just a look.”
I’ve known Tammi Leggett and Angela Rodden for 15 years. I met Angela at the Leggett Home where I was honored to share family meals, card games and pool parties. Everything is more fun when my twin or friends travel with my team!
Much like the Fonner Family, the Leggett Family treated me with a warm and kind friendship. I lost connection with the Leggett Family during my second divorce and recently reconnected with Tammi after we went to view a liquidation request from a client who apparently had hundreds of cats making a “flip, swap or a trade” impossible since the smell has taken over everything inside.
There was a stunning organ with candelabras that immediately “caught my eye” with its grandeur and beauty in the midst of an unkept mess that had such a foul odor that both Tammi and Angela had to leave and go outside for fresh air while I effectively “gutted it up” to finish my tour with the client feeling more nauseous every moment.
Friends do that, they stick with you in some of the most unexpected situations and laugh with you when you muddle through it together. As a team and have more fun too Cindy and I have always loved our adventures with Virginia, Tammi, Angela and both the Fonner as well as Leggett Families.
Although I’ve shared very few close friendships, I have been blessed by the few that I’ve had with their being mutual friends to my sister and her family too. The Little Pawners and our older children are all very close to Virginia, Tammi and Angela too. Since third grade and the Elementary school classmate that tried to separate Maryssa and Makenna “incident” they have learned that their true best friends are each other and to add a cherry on top of the perfect pairing- they can find a friend that is a friend to both of them and have numerous mutual friends.
My friends have taught me courage, they have held my hand through medical procedures for complications of endenetriosus and thyroid cancer and a large benign tumor in my breast, they have brought “rag mags” to my hospital room and they have laughed at my saucy sidekick twin on adventures to the hospital cafeteria or my gown falling off while attempting to walk myself to the hospital bathroom. The key was that they were laughing with me and not at me. Laughing with someone is healthy and good for you, it will lower your blood pressure and help you live longer. Everyone needs a good friend now and then if not for a lifetime to make your life easier and to lighten your load when you need a friend to talk to.
I believe that friendship is a treasured gift for someone to touch your heart, listen when you need a kind ear and give you endurance when you feel the race is half over. They cheer for you when others have thrown in the towel and you do the same for them.
Friends are the “family” you choose to be a part of your life and should never be taken for granted because friendships are like a marriage of trust, loyalty, honesty and opinions that others might be uncomfortable telling you the truth about such as “do I look fat in this?”
Tammi came to help me situate my son’s new home (two blocks away) and work on the landscape in Texas heat until we could no longer stand from the hard work of “pulling it together” by helping a friend in need. Today my sciatic nerve is killing me but our mission was accomplished and the house now actually looks like a home.
Only someone who knows you well enough to realize that midlife weight gain has “got you down” would say “certainly not- you look great!” Because they are that close to understand your battle and encourage you to overcome it. Who else other than your spouse would “lift you up when you are feeling down” other than your true blue friend?
Tomorrow as we take the twins to Six Flags for a day of fun in the sun from Fort Worth, Texas, Tammi is joining the Wedding Warriors on the bench for many of the rides that might make us queasy or put a crick in our necks as we take turns “taking one for the team” by riding with Little Pawner daredevil Makenna Marie who surely will want to ride anything and everything!
With my son, Robert Hafele and his wife, Stephanie Hafele taking turns with the twins, I’m hoping that Cindy, Tammi and I can relax in between the thrill seeking adventures and watch the tiny Texas Twins having a day out with the friends that we call our family.