Esther Pavao
I was talking to Miss Faith today, and my last blog post came up (the one about Nichole). She emailed me the link to this video, and I thought I'd pass it on.

A documentary went around a couple years ago about Abby and Brittany, conjoined twins who had learned to not only function, but live. This was put together around and on their 16th birthday. I think it speaks for itself.

Esther Pavao
Sorry it's been a long time. I guess I've just been busy and this wasn't the top of my priority list. I hope I never let that much time go by again.

I've been going through a lot recently...I don't even know where to start or how much I should put here. I want to share what I've learned, but some of it pertains to my friends, so I'll try to leave everyone nameless.

I've always known I had faults and weaknesses, but one thing I always thought I was pretty good at, was making friends. Whenever I've really gone out of my way to pursue someone, putting myself, my time, my effort into it, God has blessed it. Something I've failed to see, is that I'm not a good friend to everyone, only to the people I want to. In my attempts to make someone feel special and loved, I ignore other people.

For example, (And I am going to use a name here, because I think it's important.) I've lived with Nichole, my twin sister, since the day I was born. And since the day I was born (literally) I've bullied her, bossed her, took advantage of her willingness to please, and in short, completely ran over her. I've always had the more dominant personality, the louder voice, the more outgoing talents. I was born screaming my head off, she didn't make a sound. I walked at 9 months, she didn't walk till she was almost 18 months, because I liked to pick her up, and put her on one of our many push toys and push her around. I don't think she ever would have walked if my mom didn't make me stop. My first word was, "No." and I talked for her until she was well over two years old. As we got older, I'd make her ask for things, since she was more likely to get a 'yes' from my mom than I was.

Until recently, I just accepted that was the way of life. I was the one who did public speaking, planned parties, talked to strangers; she was the one who took pictures, baby-sat, created cards and flyers. She remembered all the important dates, everyone's birthdays, and upcoming events. I can't even remember what I wore yesterday without serious thought.

I actually started this intending to write about someone who spoke the truth to me instead of just listening to me talk about this and how I learned it, and ended up confessing my dominating, overbearing personality...I don't know if that's me getting sidetracked, or that I really needed to get this out.

Now that she's moved out, I feel this horrible lack and I don't know what to do with it. I've lived with her literally my whole life. We shared a basinette, a crib, and a bed until we were about 12. We shared a room until last year and this is the first time she hasn't been there. And suddenly I realized just how much she is a part of my life now that I don't see her anymore...and she's only been gone since Saturday!

She's always had the character traits that I want and I have the ones she wants. She is good with people and makes lasting friendships instantly while I stand off and feel totally awkward even looking at strangers. I think I've gotten better, but it's still totally nerve-wracking. I was really good in school and she struggled with it. When something bothers her, she won't really talk about it, but when I'm irritated...the whole world knows and stays out of my way. She's always been really sweet with people, and I have to work to be civil when I'm out of sorts. She gets excited easily and likes to do random outings, dress up weird, and go crazy. I get embarrassed easily, and don't really like doing out-of-the box things. I'm usually pretty good at explaining what I'm feeling and making myself heard in a group, and she gets talked over a lot. We've always been polar opposites, but as much as that's a joke in our family, it's always bothered us because the things we are opposite in are the things we wish we had in common. I don't really know how to explain it to someone who's never had a twin, but there's a constant competition to make your own personality and not be grouped as "the twins". There was always a "my friends, your friends" competition too, though we never could seem to figure out that they were the same people. I don't think I realized that sisters could be friends too.

I think I'm telling all of this just to show that I've had her my whole life, fought with her, cried with her, lived with her, and never realized just how much she was to me.

Anyway, my point is, I don't want to just take people for granted.  I didn't start out wanting to write all this, but I guess that's the most important thing I've learned. I take people for granted so often. They say, "We never realize just what we have until we don't have it anymore." I don't want that to be true. If someone means something to you, tell them! I've been working on writing a speech for Africa, and one quote that I use seems to apply very well here, "One good deed is worth more than a thousand good intentions." I actually am using that to tell people that feeling bad for starving children and actually giving to them is a world of difference, but I think it applies to the people around us as well. If you think someone is great, and you never tell them, they'll never know and when they start to get down and wonder if they're making any difference in the lives around them, they won't know.

That's what God showed me these past few weeks. I hope it affects you as much as it did me.