As the Regional Coordinator for the TTSGI North Central region for the last seven years, I have helped twins connect with each other within a seven-state area: Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Even though I lead a busy life, as the owner of a personal chef company, I have often said, “This (being Regional Coordinator) is the most important thing that I do with my life.” When Jean died, from suicide in 1982, along with the intense grief, I also remember thinking, “at least now I know that the most difficult thing that could ever happen to me has already happened.” I still feel that today. My work with the Twinless Twins organization is my way of connecting and healing, and also of honoring Jean. When I help others, I help myself. More specifically, I feel that JEAN is helping others, through me. This is especially significant because of the fact that Jean took her own life. As horrendous as that was, I must recognize that some lives are better because of it. Her unspeakable act has also made the world a better place, through my work with TTSGI. It’s difficult to even put into writing, and more difficult to wrap my head around.
It’s been a long journey for me, one that changes throughout time. This year, my journey brought me to a new area Seattle. I offered to hold a regional meeting for TTSGI during my two-month stay there, as there is currently no Regional Coordinator for the Seattle area. Aided by past West Coast Regional Coordinator, Pamela, I began to assemble a list of potential attendees. Each day, I would cultivate the list, until it grew to sixty twins, from Seattle, Greater Washington state, Oregon and western Canada. It took quite a bit of time, but I had a lot of that. This was my effort of love, establishing connections, in person, by phone and by email, and it made me very proud. It filled much of my days, gave me purpose, and created a bigger twin “family” for me. I was also aided by Barb, who helped to find a meeting place for our group.
On March 6, 2016, at noon, thirteen twins and two spouses met at the Best Western Plus Executive Inn, near the Space Needle. Half a dozen or so of us met the night before, in the hotel lounge. We laughed and cried, and shared stories with strangers who are now forever family, until the security guard came over to quietly tell us that at 11:30 pm, it was now 1 ½ hours past the normal closing hour of 10 pm.
There is definitely a need for a Twinless Twin connection in the West Coast Region. If anyone is interested in volunteering, they can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Joan, twin to Jean
About Joan: Joan has been a member of TTSGI since 2007, and a Regional Coordinator since Fall 2009. She holds meetings in Minneapolis/St. Paul area about four times a year. Joan finds her twinless twins work very rewarding and healing, and a significant part of her life. At the 2016 TTSGI Conference, Joan received the Angel award for her work helping twins in her region and beyond.