Tammy, my sister from another mother

in teammalaysia •  7 months ago

When I was eleven years old, I was introduced to a pen-pal exchange scheme. I had pen-pals from America, France and Hong Kong. We had brief exchanges of our personal life, likes and dislikes, favourite things etc because we were eleven after all. Our correspondence dwindled and then it was no more, apart from Tammy from Indiana.

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Tammy and I have known each other since we were eleven. I would wait patiently for letters from her. I in turn would send her aerogrammes. That was the most economical means of long distance communication then.

My dear Tammy used to send me photos of her and little presents. She sent me two cardboard folders of Star Wars memorabilia & I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. Me, an eleven year old from a small town called Klang, having in my possession Star Wars stuff! Wow!

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As time went by we wrote less and less but we still kept in touch. Tammy got married, divorced, lost her parents, remarried and had a baby who will be 16 on Tuesday!

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When I was heavily pregnant with Jasmine, my firstborn, Tammy came to visit. We were so excited! That would be the first time we met. Richard and I waited at Gatwick and wondered what was holding her up! We heard an announcement with our names telling us to go to the North Terminal! LOL! That was before we had mobile phones!

We got on like a house on fire! We had such a great time and enjoyed each other's company from the word go. Even though I was 8 months pregnant, I wanted to show her everywhere! We went to Buckingham palace but remembered nothing from it as we talked non stop! LOL! She kept a diary of her trip here which she still has!

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We later became friends on Facebook. We were kept updated by our updates and would leave comments on each other's posts. We would email each other once a while. We were busy!

After much persuasion from Richard I got my American Visa in 2010 . I had to because I am only a permanent resident in England. I am still a Malaysian citizen. This visa is only active for 10 years I think. After 3 years had lapsed from obtaining the visa, we decided it was time to visit the U.S of A! That was a busy year. We went to New York, Disneyland in Florida, Indiana (to visit Tammy) for ten days and ended our trip by visiting New Orleans.

For the first time, I met Tammy's husband Joe and their beautiful daughter Anna. As their home was under renovation, Joe's mum Agnes was kind enough to offer us accommodation at her home for the duration of our stay there. It must be one of the best times in my life.

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One of the most memorable places we had the honour of visiting was to Joe's aunt's land. They live in a small house in the midst of a hundred acres of land, in the middle of nowhere. It was breathtaking. We appropriately named it 'The Hundred Acre Wood'!

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In 2016, Tammy came to visit with Anna. It was a special year. It was the year Tammy turned 50! It was a present from her husband Joe. We tried to go everywhere but it was difficult as Tammy suffers from Lupus. She was a trooper though because we managed a lot by making time for some rest in between. She desperately wanted to show Anna what she had seen many moons ago when she visited. Anna had such a great time and wishes to visit again soon!

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Anna and I still keep in touch but we have moved on with the times. We don't do letters anymore. We face time!

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I do love Tammy heaps. There is no doubt she is "my sister from another mother" and it all started with putting pen to paper all those years ago.

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To have such a genuine and beautiful friend like Tammy from the age of eleven is something quite unusual, and the fact that she was a pen pal made it even more extraordinary as well, she's a brilliant soul if you ask me and seeing pictures of how you met her and how she came visiting was my best view of this amazing post really, so much beautiful memories to really relish. It's a special

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Hi @josediccus! I'm glad you see her the way I do. She is truly a brilliant soul!

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Thank you soooo much!

@rpattwell Your friendship with Tammy is very special and beautiful. Seeing the first pictures was super adorable. Strong feelings last a lifetime. It is so touching when they were able to visit and meet their families and give each other a big hug. It's a good thing we now have a lot of media to see each other on video calls and be able to feel and see what our family and friends who are far away and whom we love do. I like that you have such a special sister friend as Tammy. A big greeting to both of you.

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Thanks @yeninsfer! Modern technology is amazing but nothing beats receiving a letter.

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She's a very special friend, too. A letter where you express feelings and details and put a nice photo. She is a charming friend. I love all forms of communication and good feelings. Long live friendship. Much love and happiness for all the friends of the world. A big hug.

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It's so nice you remember your half sister. This record on Steemit will stay here forever and she willl not be forgotten...

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Hi @organduo. Tammy is not my sister. She is no relation at all. We met by being pen pals...but you are right, Steemit will remind me of my wonderful friendship with her. Thanks!

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Oh, I'm sorry. I must focus harder when I read...

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😂😂😂 No worries

I could remember those times about pen-pal. I'm trying to think now if I had a pen-pal before, I guess none lol! But I heard about the story of my aunts having pen-pals during those time.
I guess its much more of excitement compared today. Friendship of old are much intimate than friendship today or any relationship in my own opinion.

By the way what's your first name @rpattwell?
I like your story and the photos as well.
But I guess you could put photo in your profile?

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Thanks @ronel! Friendships are so different these days... I don't try to comprehend. LOL! I'm glad you like my posts! Do drop by to check out on new posts and thanks for your advice on my profile picture. Will try that now.

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Hey you forgot to say your first name I was asking.
I guess you're older than me lol!
How old are you?

I'm gonna check your new post now. About a minute past, you have no new post.
I'll watch your next new post.

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My name is Ros and I'm 51!!!!! I'm wondering what to write about. This blogging business is taking up a lot of my time- searching for photos and taking snapshots of them, cropping them, aligning them ... I'm not very IT savvy so these things take time....

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Keep striking while the iron is hot! You will learn it eventually, because you have the desire to do it. And you're not that old enough to stop learning. Age is just a number Ros. My elder sister is Rosie. Nice meeting you here.

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😊😊😊 thanks for your words of encouragement! Btw my next blog is out. Hope you enjoy it as much as you enjoyed this one

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Oh!
I'll check it out now...Pretty nice home Ros! Do you have a baby now?
I got three questions there in your blog, answer them lol!

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I answered already... You haven't checked? lol!

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@ronel..... You are funny! 51 already. No babies because they are now young ladies. Check out my previous posts to keep updated. Where are you from btw?

Your friendship with Tammy shows how distance is of little importance when it comes to keeping up with friends, your friendship stood the test of time and has bloom into something really beautiful. You sure have found a sister and Tammy and I am glad you guys stayed in touch all these while. What an inspiring story...

Joe's Aunt land is really beautiful..

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Thanks for such lovely kind words @audreybits! Tammy was really chuffed that I wrote about her. Now, why wouldn't I? I will feature Joe's aunt's land in another blog! It really was breath taking. It's not the same as being there in real life but I hope my future blog and photos will transport you there!

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You have every reason to!! You both have managed to build a really strong bond! I will love to see those beautiful views from Joe's Aunt's house, it probably will transport me there.... Lol!

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@audreybits I shall try to bring you to Joe’s aunts’ woods in one of my future blogs... so much to write about. I sure hope it won’t be too long. 😰😰😰

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I so much look forward to that post!

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Thanks a millón!

This is the old school thing I wished that would still be a thing nowadays. My mother told me about her pen pals back then. I couldn't understand the purpose before but a decade has gone by and now I see how much value the genuine human communication was in this digital age. She has lost touched with her pen pals unfortunately.

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That's such a shame your mum and her pen pals had not kept in touch. Imagine their friendship!

How beautiful your friendship with Tammy, Thank you for telling us your story is very quirky, I really liked watching those old photographs while you told us the story, Congratulations for your curie vote, it is a great post.. Greeting from Venezuela @rpattwell

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Thank you @naideth! I'm glad you enjoyed my post of my beautiful friendship with Tammy. Photographs are great aren't they? I enjoyed going through them myself! They transported me back to my old home and bedroom where I read my mail!

Hi rpattwell,

This post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Have a great day :)

Visit curiesteem.com or join the Curie Discord community to learn more.

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Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked my blog!

We did the whole pen-pal bit in school as well, i think i managed one letter. Maybe. Thats why your post is so amazing. To think that you kept in contact over all the years. Wrote, visited, e-mailed and put so much effort into it. 40 years of contact with somebody that you have only met a few times. Especially back then. The world has turned into a much smaller place due to technology but it would have been a much bigger task at the time to keep all of this up. It's impressive really. Not to mention that you had such a good connection with this person.

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Thanks @niallon11! She is like a sister to me

I do not have words but in reality it is a beautiful story that came to my heart if they are great friends never stopped communicating despite the time until today what is important that after so many years they were face to face that great emotion I feel read such a beautiful story too real and beautiful that best friends live forever to be in the glory of God love and faith @ neymarth10

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Thanks neymarth10! I am very blessed indeed!

I’m facebook friends with Shirley, my pen friend of 46 years, but we hardly say anything to each other. It’s wonderful that you and Tammy are closer than ever!

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It’s a shame about you & Shirley & yes I am so blessed with my friendship with Tammy💗

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Thanks a million!

Hello that is such a beautiful story about friendship or sisterhood:D. I think this great to had exchanges like the pen pal exchange especially for children from different part of the world to communicate.

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Thanks @drawmeaship! I tried to get my children started but 'snail mail' put them off! Letters are just too slow! LOL!

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Looo snail mail haaa yes it must be hard for them to wait days to get there letter sent while an email is instant:)

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The pros and cons of modern technology!

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True:) i have to say i leave on the other side of the world of my family and im very happy we have the mails, and facetime technology if we didnt i dont know if i could leave so far away from them:)

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👍🏻

I really loved reading this post and hearing about your success in keeping in touch and even visiting each other. I too, had penpals at about the same age you started, but did not continue past about the first year.

I loved seeing all the photos, but especially the first one. My mother made me that exact same dress for choir when I was in the 6th grade in Chicago and I was always so proud when I got to wear it to school!

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Ahhh thanks @fitinfun! I really had fun writing it. Tammy was thrilled I wrote about her. It was only a snippet of our relationship. She hasn't even read my blog yet. I hope she approves. Her photos are really precious. How lucky are you to have your mum make your dress! My mum used to make mine too! SNAP!

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We were lucky for sure. I cannot sew a thing, so this skill was not passed down :)

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That’s a real shame. I love sewing! I wish I had more time to learn & make more 😔

That is a very lovely true story of friendship. And it is amazing to know that it was from pen-pal connections. You were blessed to have Tammy and for years!

Back in the pen pal days, I always hesitated to just pick names from magazines as I do not know these people. I did a few pen pal connections through referral from friends but it did not take long. I think it was like we received each other's letter and found it boring to reply to.

I wonder where or how you got Tammy's details that led you to start writing to each other?

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Thank you for such lovely comments @macoolette! It's been soooooo long ago neither my sisters nor I remember where we got our details from. All I remember is that I had a form to state my first, second and third preference of where I would like my pen pal from and I think shortly after that we just received a short description of the person- Name, age and where from and that's how it all began. It's a shame there isn't anything like that now but in England, some teachers try to hook up with schools from other countries to encourage pen friendship but I'm not sure if they are successful in doing that.

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With the peak of social media and even dating app or website, people can look on the web for others whom they would want a connection with. It may not as obvious as how penpal used to work but I guess, that's basically it. They just put in on the web. 😊

Thank you for sharing your heart warming story here!

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❤️❤️❤️

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I don't know how pen pal relationships work out and I don't really understand them. And that's why I find your friendship with Tammy to be pretty amazing. To be such great friends despite leaving in different countries and not having the internet back in those days.

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I know right? It was either @crazymum or @amco who introduced me to it. I had a form to fill - first three choices of countries and just some information about myself. I didn't even know what I was doing back then! LOL. But Tammy and I were persistent and here we are!

@rpattwell Your headline describing a friend as “Tammy my sister from another mother” is really unique. You have reminded me those days of pen friendship. We are about to forget it because of digital communication. Both you and Tammy are lucky for being able to take your pen friendship to such a level where both of you consider each other “sister”. This is a million dollar friendship. All the best wishes for both of you.

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Thank you @hkabir62 for such lovely words.