(this post is a work in progress and will be finished shortly)
Wednesday, July 11, 2012, I flew out to Columbus to attend the 2012 Annual Conference for Twinless Twins Support Group International. Since I had promised to bring cheesecakes to Crystal, I decided to fly out a day early and stay with my cousin Sarah. I planned on baking the cheesecakes at Sarah’s home and then take them to the conference the next day.
Sarah and her daughter Ellice picked me up at the airport and we stopped at the grocery store on the way back to their house to get the ingredients I’d need for my cheesecakes. I bought enough to make three batches, as I wanted to teach my niece how to make my cheesecake. I would be making two batches while she followed along and made a batch of her own. Each batch made a dozen snack-sized cheesecakes. I would take two dozen to the conference and leave a dozen for Sarah’s family.
Ellice drove me to the hotel and I checked in and stashed the cheesecakes I had brought with me in my room’s refrigerator. Then, I went to find some of the old guard Twinless setting up in one of the conference rooms. When I walked in I recognized most of the people in the room: David Jones, Michele and Rick Getchell among others. One person I didn’t recognize came up to me and introduced himself as Kevin Johnstone, the person who had called me on Tuesday to tell me what to expect at my first Twinless Twins conference, not realizing that I was a long-time veteran.
After saying hi to the old guard, I went off to find Beverley Smyk. Beverley and I have been friends through the Facebook group, but this was the first time I was meeting her in real life. We went off to a late lunch at Salvi’s Bistro, which is next door to the hotel.
Grant, another twinless from Australia, asked me to make sure I met up with Vikki Huntwork and Fred Campagna. I did meet up with both of them for Grant and they’re both good eggs.
I took two dozen of the three dozen cheesecakes to the hotel and handed them out to my fellow twinless twins. I had promised these cheesecakes to Crystal Strickler, my adopted little sister, and her daughter Carissa. I also gave them to many other twinless, most of whom I have known for years.
The conference was amazing. Darcie Sims was the keynote speaker, and she and I had a great conversation about grief and the grieving process. She had presented Project Birdhouse for the first time in front of a national conference. Project Birdhouse is an excellent exercise for working through grief.
I met some amazing twins at the conference. Some, like Vikki and Beverley, I had known via Facebook previous to meeting them in real life. Others, I met at the conference and have become friends with on Facebook.
After the conference ended, Ellice picked me up at the hotel and we went to church together. We met up with Deborah Maria at the church and Ellice invited her to dinner, which I was going to make. We went to the grocery store and I got the ingredients for a typical pasta dinner which I was going to teach Ellice to make. 😀
I made dinner and had a great evening with Ellice, Deborah Maria, and Sarah. We held a prayer circle and Ellie was one of the people we prayed for. Even though I haven’t spoken to Ellie in over a year, she is still someone I love very much and is still important to me. I chose to walk away from her because of her illness and should she choose to come find me and ask me for the help I have promised her, I will give it to her.