Feature Story: Twins on twinning and more

Callie and Hartley

COCHRAN, GEORGIA: Someone once said – probably a parent of twins – that “twins will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bank accounts smaller, the past forgotten and the future worth living for.”

Hartley Collins Dykes and Callie Collins Hatfield, both age 29, the daughters of Dwayne and Melanie Collins, and sisters of Dr. Parker Collins, a local veterinarian, would agree with that statement.

Hartley said of her twin, “If I don’t get to see or talk to her everyday, I feel as if a part of me is missing.”

Callie said of Hartley, “She is my best friend. She gets me. I don’t even need to say anything … we can give each other ‘the look’ and we just know. I wish everyone could experience life with a twin.”

Callie and Hartley As Adults

Hartley added, “My husband jokes that if I’m not at home he knows where I am (at Callie’s)! I love being around Callie. She encourages me each day and I feel as if I always have someone to talk to that supports me.”

Callie is married to Jay. They have three children – Anna Kate, age 9, and Tate and Tanner, five-year-old twin boys. Callie works at Bleckley Primary School. “Along with working, I am currently in school for my bachelors degree in education, and will graduate in April.”

Hartley is married to Dustin. They have two boys, ages four and one. She also works at Bleckley Primary School – though she works with a kindergarten class. Hartley said, “I am currently pursuing my bachelor’s degree, and will graduate in April. I have always wanted to be a teacher, but I actually went to school for a medical assistant certification and worked in the medical field first.”

“Callie knew how much I had always wanted to be a teacher, and she encouraged me to fulfill my dreams and return to school for education,” Hartley said. “She was enrolled in school, and because of her support and encouragement, we will actually graduate together this April.”

“I have always wanted to be a teacher, my mom was a teacher … I can remember getting her old books, and fake fingernails and playing ‘school’ with my sister,” Callie commented. “We would write all over her board after school, and we both always wanted to be the teacher. Teaching has always been in my blood, and in my heart.”

Hartley loves “the old cartoons …The Flintstones or The Jetsons!” If Callie had a superpower, she would “love to be able to time travel. I would love to hug my grandparents again and tell them about their grandbabies.”

Callie said her hobbies are “taking my kids to all their activities-does that count? And then photography, shopping and dinner dates.” Hartley enjoys reading, shopping and spending time with her family in her free time.

Of her relationship with her sister, Hartley said, “I have worked with children for the last 10 years – both in the medical field, and now, in education. There are many needs that the children face that give me empathy for them and their families too. My sister is there for me during these times when these situations make me feel sad or worried, as a prayer warrior on the behalf of these people.”

The twins at school as children.

Callie said something similar. “Working around kids, and seeing their personal  needs, sometimes it’s hard not to worry. We have to pray for them. I work hard to build lasting relationships and to help them know they are loved.”

“Faith is a huge part of my life. I truly hope that I let my faith shine through me everyday,” Callie added. “Faith plays a role in every aspect of my life, I pray through it all. Prayer gets me through each day.”

Callie concluded, “I have a prayer journal, I pray for my family, co-workers, friends, students … this is something that I share with Hartley. She is my prayer warrior … my constant reminder to give it to God.”

Hartley said, “Faith plays a huge part in my life as a wife, parent, career, and in all relationships. I have had many things in my life that influenced my faith, and through each one I have learned to rely on Go.”

“And trust in his perfect timing and plan through everything,” Hartley concluded. “He always provides for my family and faith in God influences my entire life!”

The twins took the time to answer the following questions from The Murphy Gazette(The Murph) recently. Note from the writer – the twins answered the questions separately from each other.

The Murph: How does your relationship as twins influence your outside relationships?

Hartley: “I hope that we both encourage and uplift other people in everything that we say and do! Hopefully, people see our relationship and feel encouraged by it.”

Callie: “It doesn’t tend to have a huge influence, people just kind of learn, if you are friends with one of us, you get the other one.”

The Murph: How do you stay an individual in a twin relationship? What makes you unique from your twin?

Hartley: “It’s actually easy to stay an individual in our twin relationship. We have different personalities but very similar interest. I am more of a speak your mind person while Callie is more laid back.”

Callie: “We are actually have very unique personalities but similar interest, I am more laid back, and tend to be a little more reserved, while Hartley is a little more outgoing and ‘tell you how it is.’”

The Murph: What are the real physical differences in your appearances?

Callie: “Eye shape, I have a birth mark, and length of hair. We look a lot a like, but are actually fraternal twins … a lot of people are always shocked to know we are not identical twins.”

Hartley: “I have shorter hair, Callie has a birth mark, my face is longer, eye shape is different, and our teeth are different”

The Murph: Which one of you is better at cooking?

Hartley: “I think we are about equal with this. We love to share recipes with each other and usually on the weekends we cook supper together.”

Callie: “We both love to cook. I would say equal. I do love my crock pot and cooking for my family and friends.”

The Murph: What was the most embarrassing situation you ever found yourself in because of the fact that you’re twins?

Callie: “ This older gentleman, in Walmart, who I didn’t know, but knew Hartley, and thought I was her stopped me. He started talking, and I didn’t correct him, and played along with the whole conversation, answering questions about her family, then when he went to walk away he gave me a big kiss on the cheek. I learned my lesson, and I always try to immediately tell people that I am Callie.”

Hartley: “When Callie and Jay first started dating he came up behind me at Dairy Queen, and went to kiss me on the cheek. He said, ‘Oh man, you’re not Callie!’ We all had a good laugh!”

The Murph: What is a misconception about being a twin that you might like to clear up?

Hartley: “We can’t read each other’s mind! We do know each other so well though that we can usually give a look and have an idea of what the other one is thinking.”

Callie: “People always ask can we read each other’s minds … We can’t read each others minds but we do know each other so well that sometimes we just know.”

The Murph: Define the word ‘hope.’

Callie: “To me, hope is never giving up, believing in yourself, and knowing that things will work out.”

Hartley: “Hope to me is trusting that everything will work out the way it is supposed to, and that everything will be okay.”

The Murph: What words of wisdom would you share with anyone who might have some sort of need?

Hartley: “It’s not really a quote but I would just remind me them to trust in the Lord. He sees the big picture in things that we can’t see yet. His timing and will is perfect.”

Callie: “Have you prayed about it as much as you have talked about it? Matthew 21:22. This is a scripture I always go to. When I feel like complaining, or feel sad, I try to remember to give it to God.”


Photo Credits – Callie Hatfield and Hartley Dykes – 2019; Callie Hatfield Photography

Author: rlhwrites

Curator of prose and such.

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