My twin and I decided that since Cindy was taking our twins Maryssa and Makenna Mahaney to school this morning, it would be easier for my niece to drive to Fort Worth and meet me at the hospital while Cindy met us later with her daughter Madyson.

As I met with Leigh Ann this morning to prepare her for several surgeries to repair her sinus cavity, she was nervous and worried about the possibilities of a complication.  Who isn’t?  The list included everything from blindness to nose deformities and even I was a little apprehensive.  I decided to share my experience at a funeral Monday to keep her mind off of things and tell her how much fun it was.  Let’s face it- funerals are rarely fun.  

My niece was the firstborn child of Cindy and since I was childless at the time, we raised her together.  She considers my twin and I to be her “two moms.”  Her sister and my son came after her and have all been raised as close to siblings as cousins living in separate households can be.  

I know that sounds strange but twins spend most of their time together so often, their children are closer to their cousins than traditional siblings.  Maryssa, Makenna & Madyson are as close as my son and nieces were when they were growing up.

Maryssa, Madyson, Leigh Ann & Makenna

 I had moved my schedule around to take the day off and care for my niece, and spoke with Jackie Morrow who I’m marrying Saturday regarding her handwritten vows en route to the hospital yesterday.  

Like many brides, Jackie was worried about crying while reading her vows and ruining her makeup due to the emotional nature.  I suggested “keeping things light” and writing vows that included something she has yet to say to her groom.  

Crying is normal at a wedding and after my latest Celebration of Life on Monday at Greenwood Funeral Home, I took a completely different outlook regarding my role as a Celebrant or Funeral Officiant by learning that celebrating a life is far more festive than mourning the loss.  

A wedding actually is a celebration of love and drama aside- an event with family and loved ones to share your love and joy with them.  The bride and groom literally can do just about anything and not “mess” a wedding up.  Your friends and family love you and are with you to rejoice and celebrate the Union of marriage.

Over the past nearly 7 years, I’ve had three occasions of a full fledged party greeting me at the funeral home.  These friends and families know how to throw a great party and no one is crying or upset over someone who has lived a long and productive life.

I told Jackie about the funeral Monday and told her not to worry about crying.  She (like me) loved the idea of laughs & funny stories about the deceased and the “different angle” of looking at life.  

Many of my funerals are far from joyous as my dedicated readers know and I rarely discuss funerals out of respect for the family but the margarita bar and “spread” of food with a band and festive music for someone who had lived far longer than anyone had expected- was an actual Celebration of Life! 

The friends, the family and the coworkers celebrated the life of someone close to them and shared many interesting, inspiring and often hilarious stories- I LOVED THIS FUNERAL and you will rarely (if ever) hear me say that about a funeral.

My sister Cindy arrived at the hospital at 8:00AM with our Latest Little Pawner, Madyson and had a moment to visit with Leigh Ann before they knocked her out and wheeled her into surgery.  

My Niece Leigh Ann Blais-Photographer For Maddie & Me/Texas Twins Events

 As we waited, my sister told me that she was worried about this surgery too and was praying everything would be okay.  The scheduling happened so fast that none of us had time to digest what would happen, what the risks were and what the odds of a successful outcome were.  
My niece really wanted to do the photos for Jackie’s wedding Saturday but feared black eyes and stints in her nose might shock everyone else at the wedding in a few days.

I had carefully planned and packed snacks for Madyson just as I would any other event.  I make lists, I go over and over them again all of the time.  I’m OCD and can’t just run home and grab something that has been forgotten because many of our events are a great distance from my home.  Learning to check and recheck is essential for me to ensure that anything and everything is covered before I ever start my SUV and leave the driveway.

My sister and I are really enjoying having Leigh Ann and Madyson home since its been so long since we’ve had a baby around.  Madyson loves the twins and is a breath of fresh air and ball of spirit who’s always into something around here.  Madyson is spunky and outgoing with curly red hair and green eyes which are rare.  My twin and I are redheads but we have green eyes.

Leigh Ann’s “passion” is photography.  She started taking photos of Madyson the day she was born and continues to do her own photography for numerous brands that Madyson represents.

MeMe E (Me) Photo By Iphone😉

  

Maddie & Me Photography -Madyson Blais

 

When Leigh Ann finally woke up, I had talked to her sister Stephaney 7 or 8 times and my son 5-7 checking up on her condition.  It’s not unusual for Cindy or I to be on conference calls with all of our children at the same time when we are traveling to Appraisal Appointnents and/or client meetings.  Our kids call us all of the time as do our granddaughters Maryssa & Makenna.  Often, two or more family members go to Dr appts. 

 Leigh Ann took so long to recover and wake up that the nurse was getting concerned but my husband and son also take a very long time to wake up after surgery so we didn’t panic as we played with and entertained Madyson.  By the time we were finally able to see my niece again, I had spoken to the surgeon who decided not to use the stints in her nose and knew she would be very happy about that. 

 My sister ALWAYS takes photos of family members in the hospital and today was (as usual) no exception.  Anytime I’ve ever been in the hospital- my twin was posting photos AND updates on FB for the world to see.  She isn’t going to stop now because Cindy loves to snap an unexpected pic on her iPhone.  Everyone in my family complains about these “no filter photos” but we expect them after years of complaining and my niece was a good sport about it.

As I put her in my SUV, my niece started crying unexpectedly and I panicked thinking something had happened.  I pulled over in the hospital parking lot to ask what was wrong with my sister and Madyson in the SUV behind me.  

Apparently, my niece had finally accepted our “too close” family and finally was thankful for having everyone rally around her when this surprising diagnosis hit a week ago.  Sure, all of our adult kids occasionally argue with each other but when the chips are down–they know that their cousin or sibling will be standing right behind my sister and I to do whatever it takes to pick them up again and support one another.  

Yes- we are close enough to bump into each other running to the rescue and know it as do our husbands who often “stay out of the way.”  Our husbands have no siblings and their parents are dead which is why they may never know why it takes an entire family to go have surgery or visit the ER. 

My Daughter In Law, Niece & Grandnieces-Stephanie, Stephaney, Maryssa & Makenna

  

On Location- Stephanie (Far Left) Ann & Robert

  

Twin Hair Cuts For The Little Pawners

  

My Nieces & Grandniece-Leigh Ann, Stephaney & Maryssa

  

Cousins- On Location In Gordon With My Family

  

Twin Sisters-The Pawning Planners

 
Tomorrow we are off on another Appraisal Appointment and I advised our prospective clients that we will have our youngest granddaughter with us since her mother is recovering from surgery.  

They are looking forward to meeting our little cutie and knew we often had other family or grandchildren with us and had no issues about it.  That’s the beauty of a Pawning Planners Client- they are excited to meet our family and know we all work together to make a Dream Event their reality.

We are thankful the surgery went well and hopeful Leigh Ann can capture the special moments at Jackie’s Wedding Saturday while Robert & Stephanie are in Dallas at another event.  

Splitting my team up is often necessary during our busy season but everyone is just a phone call away if they need advice or have a problem on location in a caravan of SUV’s “changing the wedding and events industry one family (or barter) at a time from Fort Worth, Texas!” 

Wendy M Wortham