There are a lot of moments of which I have been thinking. These moments are special to me. Some of these moments I have never shared with anyone else because they are that special to me. But I think that I am in need of sharing some of these moments with my readers. It may not be as important to you as they are to me. I think that it is for my sake that I share these.
The moments of which are of most import to me are the moments that my twin sister and I have shared. Denise is a special person in her own right. She is independent. What she has been able to accomplish in her short years is amazing. Her legacy lives in 25 years of second grade students who have grown into great people serving our Country, our hospitals, our schools, and so many other areas in life. But the moments that we share are deeper than this–at least I think they are.
I like to tell people that we were “womb-mates” for nine months. At the end of our lease, she kicked me out and eight minutes later Denise came. Why eight minutes later? She was fixing her hair, of course! I had no hair but she did. She got all of the brains, looks, hair, beauty, etc., etc. Then I have even said that she’s been late ever since. When asked if we are identical twins my response is always, “No, she’s a girl and I’m a boy! But we do look alike when she grows her beard!” When she is asked the same question, her response is, “No, we’re not identical. However, we do look alike when he puts his hair in pigtails!” That’s just something that we have said ever since we were children. We always thought it was funny to say these things.
Another thing that we have shared occurred when we were just infants. After we were born, my mother tells us that we were inseparable. For the first 2-3 years of our lives we slept in the same crib. If we were separated we would both cry until the other was placed in the crib. After a while we felt secured enough to be separated in our own cribs.
Our first school was a private school called Tiny Tot. We were in the same class together and enjoyed our first grade together. My parents thought it would be good for our second grade year and every year after that to be in separate classes. She blossomed apart from me. I on the other hand was always concerned about what she was doing. I did not have the gumption that she had in school. I only did what I had to do to get by. But she excelled. Every effort of hers was and is a success. She is determined; she has always been determined. Her grades were always better than mine. She really enjoyed school while I struggled through school wondering what she was doing.
My sister, Dina, was a track star where we grew up. In fact, I think she still holds records back home that have never been beaten. At any rate, she was teaching Denise and me how to jump hurdles at the track where she practiced. Denise would actually go over the hurdles. I would just knock them down so Dina put my hurdles lower. She worked hard to help Denise and me. Denise excelled while I just decided that the best course of action for me was to just run around them on one side or the other.
Denise started playing in the sixth grade band. She has played the flute for years. I started with the trumpet. My brother David played the trumpet and I wanted to play like he did. My other brother Dathan played the clarinet like my dad. After the sixth grade, I joined the choir–it was easier on the lips! Denise played the flute in band throughout junior high and high school. But she decided at the end of our junior year in high school that she wanted to play a different instrument. Would you believe that she chose the cymbals? She would be up in the stands with the band during football games just twirling those cymbals and clanging them when it was time. But she never put her flute down completely. She still played her flute and has all of these years.
There was one year that both Denise and I took piano lessons. Again, she excelled in piano. I think we would have stayed with piano if our teacher was not so mean. We have always said that we thought she needed to wear one of those German army helmets with the spike on top! We even thought that the mole on our piano teacher’s upper lip should have been removed! I remember at our one and only recital, there was this kid that thought he was all that and a bag of chips. After the recital, Denise and I went home and made fun of him on Dina’s piano. Yes, we digressed, but we had a lot of fun together! I remember that I made up a song on the piano to make fun of that kid and she and I just laughed and laughed.
When I had moved to Tennessee in 1990, six months after being married to my Cheryl, I received a phone call one day from Denise. She was in the hospital and wanted to tell me that she was alright. She was in the midst of passing a kidney stone. When she told me that I was shocked. I was in the hospital when she called and I was passing a kidney stone! We still marvel at how many stones we both have passed and the ones we were unable to pass. It seemed that I would call her when she was struggling with something or she would call me when I was struggling with something–just out of the clear blue sky. It is as if we had a sixth sense of some kind. I would say it was a “twincidence”!
This evening, as she was sitting in her recliner, she asked me what I was thinking about. I told her that I wish she was not having to deal with this cancer. I wish that it was me instead of her. I would rather take her pain than to see her going through it. She retorted, “It’s not supposed to be you! It’s supposed to be me.” I teared up and she said, “Den, I love you so much.” I told her that she was the best twin that I have ever had. She smiled and said, “I had to fight off all of the other ones that wanted to be your twin.” My heart swelled with pride to look into those beautiful brown eyes. I told her that she was going to beat me in the race to heaven just like she beat me in all of the other races we had. I told her it was because I run funny. She smiled–just smiled at me and said that I ran just fine. She is as beautiful as ever.
There are so many other moments in time. My mind is flooded with memories. My heart aches during this dark time. For now I have a moment in time with her; but that is all I have left in this life–just a moment in time. When she passes from this life to the next, I will have to wait until that moment in time when I will join her.
A moment in time…