Flying to my second favorite state, California, with Cindy to meet my niece Leigh Ann Blais with our Latest Little Pawner, Madyson, Cindy and I arrived early at DFW to ensure we had time to check our bags and not have to run through the airport (it has happened more times than I can count).
My wonderful husband Matthew took care of our Little Pawners, Maryssa & Makenna Mahaney while we were in California and from the looks of photos he sent- the twins are having a good time lol.
My niece has been having a hard time adjusting to the “Navy Wife Life” since being transferred from San Diego to Lemoore and frequently calls & face times her mom, me, her sister and the twins along with my son because she misses San Diego and our incredibly close knit family. This trip was something she’s been looking forward to since we emailed her two months ago.
Although Cindy and I were very apprehensive regarding Leigh Ann driving to Los Angeles to meet us, she and baby Maddy made it by leaving very early to give her plenty of time to stop when the baby became cranky. Her “original plan” was to meet us at LAX but, I quickly talked her out of it because I’m the only person in my family confortable driving in the airport and everywhere else in California.
Adjusting to all of the horn honking isn’t easy for anyone when you come from a “drive friendly” state like Texas. The Colorado plates on my rental probably added to the horn honking but I took it in stride by honking and waving at my horn honking comrades. I had planned to visit our mother Sharon and step sister Tammy the first night of our trip. For over 27 years my mother has claimed that she never knows who we are after meeting me in 1988 while I was living in San Clemente, California and decided to find her.
After agreeing to the “terms of the deal” my mother made to meet me, I invited my brother Jerry (on leave from the Navy and staying with my father in San Diego) and my sister (living with me in San Clemente with her daughters Leigh Ann & Stephaney) to join me to go meet our mother after all these years-they both declined.
This “meeting” required me paying her to answer three questions that were important to me but I’m certain- meant nothing to her. Sharon met me in Solvang and accompanied me to a restaurant bathroom to answer my questions and get the money I had promised to pay her. I’m fairly certain that her mother and my sister had no idea that my mother required money to meet me which is why we met in the bathroom. I asked why we were sold for $50 each along with my brother and sister for a total of $200 because I’ve never understood the amount. Why not $100 or even $1,000?
When my mother “set about” to sell us, my grandfather decided to record the transaction. That tape would sit in his desk for years before we found it.
Ironically, my sister and I found out about the tape when my grandfather died since he had acquired a tape of the meeting and exchange of the cash. Cindy and I found it while helping my grandmother search for a will and we “pocketed the tape” to listen to later. I listened to it only once, my sister played it so many times that the tape broke. Sharon used the money I had paid her to meet me ($1500.00) to leave that restaurant and go buy drugs resulting in an accident with a Los Angeles transit bus that left her permanently disabled and blind in one eye with 60% cognitive impairment.
I’ve never had the opportunity to tell her how I felt about her selling us and effectively- separating us because two hours after meeting her in Solvang, my grandmother called to tell me “your mother was in an accident and expected to die.”
I must admit that driving back to see her again after the meeting that morning took a lot of soul searching for me. My sister Cindy had refused to go meet her but agreed to drive back to the hospital before she passed.
Miraculously, Sharon survived and has never apologized for being a horrible parent or for telling me after taking my money that fateful day- that she was sorry. I felt guilty for giving her the money that resulted in the accident and angry that she had no remorse for destroying our family in that bathroom but, I’m a very strong person and committed to doing the right thing even if it hurts me so I look at things on a scale and understand that finding our sister again outweighs never having had a “real mother.” I can never accept her reasons for selling us “it was the sixties and I didn’t want any children much less twins.”
We had the twins with us on our last visit to see Sharon and she continued to call them Cindy & Wendy. This “I don’t know who you are” scenario has been being played out for 30 years. I’m truly sorry my sister Tammy has been dealing with it since the accident Sharon had due to her own drug abuse problems.
Tammy had previously lived right next door to Sharon and was proud of her new home miles away where she no longer had to deal with the stress of having a mom who didn’t know who you are coming by everyday. I can’t imagine dealing with that for twenty plus years.
Looking back- the only good thing about meeting with her was to reconnect with my sister and grandmother because all the answers to my questions were not what I had hoped to hear. Our mother was a heroin addict and sold us at 6 years old. My brother was the youngest at 2 and our sister Tammy was 8. My sister was raised by her grandmother and grandfather in California after my father moved us to Texas.
Over the years, everytime that my sister and I have traveled to see my mother, she has always claimed she doesn’t remember who we are. However, last week Sharon asked about my brother who hadn’t called or visited her since he was 2 years old and effectively “outed her faulty memory.”
The only reason I can fathom is that she had never wanted Tammy, Cindy or I to confront her and pretending not to remember was her way of keeping us silent regarding the subject. All 3 of us left crying knowing we had been lied to all of these years. I will from this point forward refer to my mother as Sharon she never earned the honor of being called my mother.
I’ve helped hundreds of families through The Pawning Planners, Texas Twins Events & Texas Twins Treasures along with my family as well as being the mother I never knew to my son, my nieces & grandnieces and re established my “lost years” with our sister Tammy and no longer wish that we had ever had a “real mother” because I’m a better person for not having her in my life. I no longer blame myself that I was only worth $50 and accept the things that I cannot change. Accepting this for once and forever will help me more than anyone realizes because I no longer blame myself for only being worth $50.
Thankfully, Cindy and I “shook off” this meeting with my mother in order to focus on our busy trip and filming schedule in Los Angeles along with spending time with Leigh Ann and Maddy.
We enjoyed spending time with my niece and catching up with Kjerstin Johnson from our old production team too!
Traveling can sometimes be exhausting but Cindy and I loved the opportunity to visit with her daughter and grand daughter while on a “working trip.” I was also glad that it stopped raining in San Francisco so I could take my niece, nephew and grandniece on a day trip prior to heading home.
Returning from LAX last night, my twin sister and saucy sidekick, Cindy Daniel was too exhausted to come up with a #Cindyism regarding the crowd at the airport trying to make our flight.
We had completely forgotten about Thanksgiving travelers and since I’m the “planner, task taker & organizer” around here, I decided to return my rental car three hours early although Cindy thought that we didn’t need to rush to the airport. After years of “planning for the worst” the truth is that we barely made the flight due to my attaching a luggage tag at the American Airlines kiosk and effectively were sent to the “Sea of heads” by the lady at the luggage counter to have a replacement tag printed. Our flight was at 10:36, we arrived at the airport at 8:16 and spent nearly an hour and a half waiting in line for the reprint tag which left us literally running through security to make it to the gate only to be told that the flight was overbooked (as usual) and we would need to check our bags. Ironically, many travelers brought dogs and cats on our flight and, my seat neighbor had a fairly large dog that spent the entire flight under my legs or up on my knees leaving me little or no room since I was seated between the dog and its owner with my twin sister, Cindy seated in the aisle. I googled “Companion pet rules” on the AA site and found that there was a 20 lb limit as well as other criteria that obviously didn’t apply to my seat mate since she quickly explained “they usually give me a free row.” Arriving at DFW to be greeted by my husband and our tiny Texas Twins aka The Little Pawners- Cindy and I have never been happier to be home and off that plane!
I think that airlines should address their own “pet rules” after being surrounded by dogs, cats and owners who apparently think that passengers seated next to them are “allergy free” from pet hair and dander when we aren’t. I had a cat climbing up the back of my seat along with three nearby travelers coughing and sneezing the entire flight.
Some trips have their ups and downs but at least I’ve had the opportunity to learn that I no longer need to hope my mother would recognize me anymore. I’ve spent years wondering why and questioning a relationship that never existed but I no longer need to and will instead focusing on being thankful for my family, the success of my businesses and the opportunity to enjoy my clients and events shared with my Texas Twins Events Team and the things that really matter to me…
Wendy M Wortham