Thanks for such great questions!
Rae asked: Have you had any eye openers in your relationship with J?
Yes, but nothing I wasn't already prepared for. No matter what color J's skin is, he and I couldn't be more of a matching pair. Sure, there are some differences between us that can be considered cultural but the majority of differences have nothing to do with culture. The other night, we were lying in bed and I said to J, "Babe, did you know I'm black?" He totally gasped and said, "Now you tell me! I had no idea because I'm colored blind. I thought you were green!" There will always be barriers in place being in an interracial marriage but love comes in all colors and racial ignorance isn't worth stressing over. I'm praying that your grandkids will grow up loved and proud of who they are, not dealing with stupidity in the form of racism.
Adam asked: What was your worst experience in school?
Unfortunately, the first thing that comes to mind was an incident in elementary school when my sister and and I were in 4th grade. The class went on a field trip to a classmate's farm to learn about the farm animals. The class was invited inside for hot chocolate after the tour. My twin sis and I sat on the couch with our other classmates. (Huge sectional.) The mom walked over to our classmate, Susan and said to her, "Susie, tell your Black friends to sit on the floor" as she motioned to my sis and I. We heard her loud and clear and we hopped off the couch and sat on the floor. We were both humiliated. That was one of my first lessons in racism that I learned.
Stacy asked: What has been your most painful family relationship and how did you cope/get through/change it?
This question makes me realize that I tend to take things for granted. Quite a few years ago (like 22 years ago), there was a disagreement that took place between my twin sister and I. I no longer recall the exact reasoning behind the disagreement but what I do painfully remember is that we didn't speak to one another for 2 years. During that time, my heart ached. I missed so much by not having her and her family in my life. One Christmas, I thought I was going to die from missing her so I called her on the phone to wish her a Merry Christmas. It was a short phone call but one that provided a bridge to our finding our way back to one another. We gradually started talking again and spending time together. Our relationship grew from the thorns into beautiful roses. I have a tremendous respect and love for my twin sister. She is one of my closest friends!
Nezzy asked: What is the best 'trick' you and your sis played on someone.
We were always playing the "which one is which" trick because we were so identical. Most of the time, it wasn't even intentional. The one that is my sister still owes me for is when she did something wrong and my mom spanked me instead. Twin 2 ran and hid under the bed and watched. Through my tears, I said, "Mama, you spanked the wrong one!" In elementary school, we liked wearing each other's name tags to see if the teacher noticed. Unfortunately, they never did. Another time, my sister needed to break up with her crush in jr. high. We sound exactly alike so she handed me the phone and I broke his heart for her. If I have any advice to give to anyone when being around twins is that being a twin is normal and being without your twin isn't. In other words, I don't know any other way of living.
Helene asked: What is the best advice you've ever received about motherhood?
One of the worst advice I got was to be a parent and NOT my daughters friend. But, one of the best was to enjoy every moment and stage of their lives and when they are grown up, I would enjoy not only being their mommy but also their friend. Another piece of advice is one from the Bible in Luke 2:19 - But Mary treasured up all of these things and pondered them in her heart. What that means to me is that Mary had it going on! She viewed every part of motherhood as something to remember. I'm sure the kids could be out of control or tiring but those memories were treasures in her heart.
Sweet Tea asked: What makes you tick? Meaning what gives you great inspiration and satisfaction...and if money was no option how would you change your life?
What makes me tick is my love for life. I have more happy days than sad ones. I look forward to seeing what each day holds. Without a sense of humor, I'd totally be lost. There are way too many hilarious things that happen in my life that require me to laugh instead of cry. One of the most commonly used phrases you'll hear me say throughout the day is, "Oh wellll." In other words, don't sweat the small stuff.
If money was no object, I would love to travel around the United States and to other countries to meet all of you, my friends. But first, I'd want to help my kids create their own business opportunities. Too many parents hand over money to their kids without instilling the desire to be entrepreneurs. I have a huge heart for orphans so I'd adopt a few more kiddos to add to our boo-quet. Then, help those families who are doing their best to make it financially. I'm not one to be over-extravagant but a house on the beach and a cabin in the mountain would be perfect places to get away. Oh! Then, as much as I love to cook, I'd hire a chef to come in at least 4 days a week and create some of my favorites.