How far back are precious memories lodged on one’s mind? Is it how quick we can recall detail? How vividly the smells, sounds, tastes and touch create the connections which surround good memories?
Last week we received word from a good friend’s wife that her husband passed away very suddenly. It’s not that they had not been on our minds of late, but they decided to move away to Ohio a few years ago, and we have missed them very much. When they started going to our church we didn’t reveal my personal history to them and we just felt that they really accepted us as friends; they were just a fun and friendly couple. Frequently, Charlie chimed up and said that I look just like a woman they knew back in such-a-place.
My most vivid and precious memories that I will always keep close to my heart happened one evening at a church dance; I forget the reason, but we all were having a great time. We had cleared a small space for a makeshift dance floor and there were two or three couples dancing to most of the songs we were spinning on the CD. The dancing couples were trading partners frequently when all of a sudden one of the women dancing with Charlie, suddenly grab my hand, lead me over to his and thrust me into his arms. Charlie was one of the few men who just happened to be taller than I, even with heels on. Charlie didn’t flinch, or protested with one word, he just grabbed me in his big arms and led me across the dance floor; I was on cloud-nine and didn’t know where the floor was. Just to be dancing a slow dance with someone was a dream come true for me. I tried desperately to let Charlie lead me around the floor, but I knew that this was just a dance, and a once in a lifetime dance for me.
I have never been asked or pushed into someone’s arms since, but that’s OK; I will get another dance. A few weeks before Charlie and Annabelle left, we did confide to them that I was a trans woman and waited for some sort of sign that what I said was news to them. They just grinned; shoot, they said they always known that I was trans because someone they knew was trans and everything about me fit their perceptions.
Thank you Charlie for giving me such wonderful memories and I will love you always for giving me a dance that I will never forget.