Today and the next two days are auspicious because they are not only about family, they have brought me to one more realization about my coming out and my transition.
Today, April 29, was my fathers birthday, who passed away in 1998. Tomorrow, April 30, is my sisters birthday, and Tuesday, May 1 will be the seventh anniversary of my mom’s passing in 2005.
As a token of remembrance, as I dressed to attend the service of my spiritual community here in Santa Fe, The Celebration, I chose to wear silver jewelry, as my mom had always preferred silver to gold. I also did not wear my wig and instead washed and blow dried my hair which I had colored myself before I got the wig and which was close to the color of my mom’s natural hair color, red. I also wore a red blouse to honor her as well.
During a portion of the service where anyone who wishes to speak from their heart in an atmosphere of respectful listening, with tears in my eyes, I shared how I have always believed that since I was little that my mom had wanted so much for me to have been a daughter, after having had two sons. Then I shared that had I been the daughter she had hoped for then probably my sister would not be here today.
What struck me about this realization was the burden that I have been carrying all these 62 years and now that my mom is not here that I no longer need to bear that burden.
Another reason I shared had to do with the fact that my marriage partner, my wife actually, who a year ago asked me to move out of our house on our 30th wedding anniversary, February 14, 2011, because she needed the house alone to deal with her health challenges, was the speaker for the day. This was the first time since she entered the hospital in December 2010 to have a tumor removed from her brain, that she took the opportunity to share about what happened to her from that experience and from the year since.
I sat in a row next to two other women friends and I started to weep, as silently as I could but the friend next to me couldn’t help but notice my distress and momentarily put a hand on my shoulder to let me know that she could identify with my emotion. At one point, I had to leave the room and go to the ladies restroom where I weeped out loud only to stop for a moment when another woman, a friend also, who came in and asked me if I was okay. I said that I needed to let go as I stepped into a stall and closed the door.
The second part of my share was to finally close a door that had been painfully left open since my wife first asked me to leave our home. I looked at her and shared that while our separation had been painful, it had also been a gift. After the anger and sorrow of our separation had been worked through during the many months following, through my full hip replacement surgery, recovery and rehabilitation, I had finally found the peace and the space to reinvent my life the way I had always wanted it to be and which I had been unable to do until I finally realized that there was no longer any reason to wait to be reincarnated into another life as a woman.
The gift was that I could now become the person that I had always wanted to be, the woman of my dreams, confident, competent and most of all, beautiful.