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Meet char combs

• Mother of two sets of twin girls and two stepsons • Newlywed • Occupational therapist

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Posted: Friday, January 27, 2017 1:37 pm

Please tell us about your twins.

 I am a mother of two sets of identical twin girls. I have been blessed to have such a unique and wonderful situation. My daughters are now 20, the older set are Gabrielle and Abigail. The younger set, Arianna and Alaina are 15. They are all very close. In fact, my older daughters are studying the same major in college and they plan to be in business together when they graduate. They are attending Michigan State University. My younger two are also very connected and they, too, are inseparable. They are sophomores at Fenton High School. I remember the second time around requesting the ultrasound technician’s credentials, because I was certain she had made a mistake.

Tell us about the rest of your family.

 I was widowed in 2007, when my husband unexpectedly passed away from a brain hemorrhage. I have essentially single-parented these girls since then. Believe me, my life has not been easy, but it has been blessed. I truly have the opinion that ‘everything happens for a reason.’ My daughters and I are very close and we have an amazing bond. We learned to work as a team and support each other during these times.

 However, the only thing that got me through was my faith in God. I am recently remarried to a wonderful man who served our country in the military for 14 years. He has two sons, so now we have six children and I finally got my boys. Our lives are very fun especially around the holiday time.

Describe some of your happiest times.

 Some of the best things I can recall when the girls were growing up is how funny and silly they are. Laughter in the car on the way home from school.

 Often, I was the odd man out because each set truly has their own language. They finish each other’s sentences, have the same dreams and tell me the same stories one right after the other. They laugh at things just by looking at each other because they truly can ‘read each other’s thoughts.’

 Some recent happy moments are watching all six of the kids (girls and boys) play cards around the table during the holidays, watch movies, play in the snow together. These are the things that truly matter.

What are some of the challenges with this family dynamic?

 There have been challenges raising the girls and working a full-time job. Balance is so important and I have been blessed to be able to have flexibility in my work schedule to be able to attend school events, sporting events. I have also relied on my supportive parents. Although raising the girls had its challenges, they are very good, smart, kind and loving children.

 The biggest challenge for me was disciplining the girls. I always had two against one. If one told on the other, and I punished the one twin, the other twin would be angry at me for punishing her and then they would literally ‘gang’ up on me. It still happens to this day.

What do you do for a living?

 I love what I do. I am an occupational therapist. I work with children and adults who have sustained traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries because of automobile accidents. I have worked in many settings, however, this is truly my passion. I love being able to make a difference and to serve. I truly believe that my gift is to serve and provide counsel, understanding and support to families and individuals whose lives have truly changed.

 These are people who get up in the morning just like you and me, and then end up in a coma due to an accident. Their lives change in an instant.

Is this a paid or volunteer career?

 I now have a private therapy practice and I do get paid to perform therapy for these individuals. However, I also volunteer at the Brain Injury Association of Michigan and sit on the Michigan Brain Injury Provider Council Board. So, although I get paid for direct therapy, all the advocacy that I do is voluntary.

 One of the things that I have done on a few occasions is to reach out to individuals in the community that are going through a tragedy with a family member or friend. This is something I love to do for others without being paid. My payment is truly being able to see the family and their loved one get the services that they need.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

 I love to travel and spend time with my girls, my boys and my husband. I do enjoy going for walks, boating and watching a good movie. Life for me is truly about living in the moment and being grateful for the gifts you have. One of my favorite quotes ‘Life is a gift. That is why we call it the present.’

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