The dreaded card.
Ah yes, the card.
The dreaded card. Do you open it? Do you take it out back and burn it in the firepit? Do you reply?
I have handled this two ways on two seperate occasions in my life.
The first time was before I transitoned. I was 26 years old. I had just graduated technical college earlier in the year.
It was 1988. I had a falling out with my Pop, George, when I was 18. He wanted me to join the service and stop getting high.
I left home and lived on the street. I choose not to, I was wild. I was conflicted.
The only thing that kept me in control was my then girlfriend and
future wife, who we lost to cancer last year, not five months after my surgury. My becoming.
I miss her everyday-it stinks. I remeber her giving me two hundred dollars and telling me to be safe.
I remember the look of love in her eyes. She wnated me to be well. I always chokes me up.
But I have moved on in my life with a new woman who is also trans.
I had received a birthday card for my 26th birthday that December day back in '88. I wanted to toss it
without opening it. Connie (former wife/girlfriend) wanted me to open it. After some cojolling I opened it.
There were beautiful forgiving words of a father to a son. He wanted me back. He had heard I graduated with
my degree in electronics. He said he was proud of me.
He wanted forgiveness and reconciliation. Well, I am stubborn one. I still wanted to toss
it and the twenty bucks he sent me in the trash. I thought he was trying to buy me. Connie knew different.
She knew it was an illogical conclusion based on how things used to be and not based upon current events.
She knew I would regret not ansering him and she was right.
Eventually that evening she convinced me to call him. I don't know how she did it, but she could convince me to
do anything, because I loved her. And I knew she loved me. So, I called Pop the next day and we've developed a good relationship
that has survived my transition, Connie's passing (we cried together) and my new girl(who is weird and fun).
I owe Connie so much, but this holiday I am reminded of the card.
And of love. We all had a wonderful Christmas day together. I feel blessed.
And the wind wishpers Connie.
The second time is today. And the card is from my birth Mother, Cathy. Everyone in my family knows Cathy has a problem.
Everyone except Cathy. You see, Mom is very self centered and will never admit fault for all the things she
has done to various family members. It is not that she is intrinsicly evil, she means well and has a good heart.
She just doesn't think sometimes about how her words and actions effect others. Even at the age of 65 she hasn't mastered
the art of other peoples feelings. I think we're all guilty of that at some point in our lives.
I haven't spoken to her for two years. I send her cards for Mothers day, her birthday, and
the winter holiday. She still sends money to me twice a year. Not a lot, but a little gift.
She says she loves me. But which me? The old one or the more recent version?
It's not that I don't love my mother, I do. If I didn't it would sure make life easier.
But I do love her and I took her name as my middle name.
Because, without Mom, none of this would have been necessary.
So I chose to honor her by taking her name as part of my own.
That was my way of saying I love ya Mom!
The incidence which sparked the current spat, there have been others, happened in January of 2008.
We had previously had a conversation that was productive and I felt there was a good chance
we could patch things up and put the past behind us.
Then I spoke to her a month later. She told me she through out my baby pictures.
For a second I had to let that seep in, she what? I asked her why? She said she missed her son. Michael.
I told her that was unfortunate, but he was killing me and one of us had to go, and it wouldn't be Renee.
Renee is here to stay. We had some words and then I tried to move on. Transition is hard and it isn't
the first seemingly cruel thing someone has said to me. I just added it to the pile. People can be so cruel.
Well, she called me back less than a month later. I didn't look at the caller ID and I had pressed the red button on
my cell phone. I wish I had not. Mom explained to me that she didn't really through out my baby pictures, she was just mad at me.
So, she was exhibiting her world class passive aggressiveness. I was pissed, I was livid and I hung up on her.
F*ck this noise. I have other things to deal with, like a souldmate at deaths door.
Like a still unhealed vagina. And a business that was floundering.
I had no extra run-time for this crap.
We haven't spoken since, except for when Connie died. She sent some nice plants to the funeral.
I still have them by the bed room window. I want to be her daughter. I always have.
It never felt right being a son. I am her daughter.
Can't she see how I hurt all my life? Even when I was older and married and straight-ish.
How could she not see that? How contrived my personality was? How I seemed insecure and tentaive?
What f8cking planet are you on? Ah yes, planet Cathy.
I went to two mental hospitals as a teen. Nine months of life, locked up,
so I could be alive now. Things tore me up back then. It has made me stronger now.
What is her f*cking problem? Dammit! I hate this. I am her daughter.
The survivor. Everone else has figured that out.
Well, I had a talk with my sister and brother in law on Christmas day.
They told me she wants to talk. and I have been thinking about it
for several months as the “silly season” approached.
I told myself “I should call her after the holidays, sometime in January”.
Ya, that's it, that's the ticket.
So, I am resolved to call her. I guess you could call it a new years resolution.
But, I think not, because resolutions are crap. Either you do something or you
don't. So, I am wondering what I will say besides. “Hi Mom, I'm still here.
And can I have those baby pictures?”
The story of the card continues into a new decade.
I love you Mom, but you're just impossible sometimes.
Impossible, I say.
I will call her and, hopefully,things will be fine.
And life goes on…….