Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Family and Christmas Cheer

Ok, these might not be the usual Christmas Stockings, but these are what we used, Kay used the 'tights' for me and I filled a 'boot' for her stuffers and the plants were as close to 'greenery' that we had on hand. Now it is unusual for us Not to put up our Usual Christmas decorations, but as we were so busy, time slipped away from us and before we knew it, it's a few days before.

It's just that we were both so busy with so much coming and going that in the evening or weekends we were involved with other things. Kay had told me that 'she wanted gifts to open' and since we didn't drag out the tree, we needed something to put our stocking stuffers in, so we improvised.

Trinity's older sisters would be staying with them during the holidays so we tried to make the most of their visit. Actually her oldest sister, Crystal, is going full time to VSU and the other sister, Michelle, is a Captain in the Army stationed in Germany. We all had dinner on Christmas Eve where we shared the table with Trinny's grandparents and uncle and of course her other grandmothers, MeMaw and BG and then we opened gifts. It has been a long time since we watched children or grandchildren open Christmas presents together. Colleen knitted Kay a Grandmother's Shawl with colored yarn for each grandchild's birth month, and she gave me a beautiful scarf with a pin.

I wanted so much for my daughter to meet Crystal and Michelle, and since "M" was leaving today, we arranged for lunch for everyone yesterday. Julie was running errands but said she would drop by with her boy friend and everyone else came over for a bowl of beef soup and salad. I think the older daughter's had a great time getting to know each other and had a lot in common and the boy friend was a delight with his stories and jokes.

I think we have put too much stock into doing the "Currier and Ives, or Rockwell's Christmas" scenes, where a large family is gathered around a table with a huge turkey and the table is laden with heaping bowls of food. There are many people who never have that "Christmas Dinner" as we might look down on them as lacking or not deserving or so many other wrong ideas of them. That's just wrong, too wrong. Because so many of our holiday experience is having to keep our tongues quiet, and to endure Uncle "Joe" bigoted mouth, or our drunken relative who put everyone down, or those who scorn the 'black sheep' who might be gay or trans and are shunned for so many concocted reasons.

And so I will say out loud that I love the family that has chosen us, that family who gathered around our table of love yesterday knows and loves us for the people we are. The Two Aunties who are now Grandmothers for so many wonderful and loving children, because they have parents who make sure their children will accept people for who they are.

Friday, December 23, 2011

What do I do?

I have noticed that my post are on a downward slope this year as to it's numbers, and am thinking what does that mean for me? Looking at the content of some, it also contains more political and expressions of my transition issues.

Don't get me wrong here, as my last post suggests that when issues of family take the front seat in my life and we have a better connection, that is good. It's just that my transition is old news; it's already happen, and without the world of the internet looking in on it. As I transitioned, I didn't know about blogging, or the internet and what it could and would do for me as a trans woman.

I put all my thought down in my Personal Diary Log, if you will. A diary filled with my reactions, personal sadness and joys that I encountered daily. The static telling of my first day discovering secrets of makeup and dressing, my first Make-0ver, the terror of being caught dressed by my children, the joys of sharing a day as Sarah with a dear friend. The factually telling of finding a doctor to prescribe hormones and what I had to do to get medically cleared to get them. The joys of finding Love and our eventual Wedding attended by close family and good friends. The fear and horror of discovering that I had Breast Cancer and my long process of recovery and the pain for the loss of my long awaited symbol of femaleness, the breast.

These personal words can be found in my personal log, disconnected and void of any outside readings or chosen comments by nonexistent readers. You can go back and read my first comment for yourself from February, 19, 2008, that's almost 2 years after my mastectomy and well into my transition, void of any hormones.

There are so many ways that my life has dramatically changed for the better, and not I am just being who I am; living my life to the fullest and loving how it keeps changing. Kay and I keep saying that knowing how things have gotten better within my family, could never have been predicted. So when we pray, we abstain from asking for specifics; we just seek his help and watch where he takes us; takes us to places we never dreamed could happen. And for that, we are Thankful.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My Daughter's Christmas Gift.

We all remember with much fondness the many treasured gifts loving given to us by our children. On those many birthday’s and wonderful Christmas’ morning’s madness when we are roused out of our beds, eyes heavy with sleep from the long night of wrapping last minute gifts by shouts of excitement. We watch our children’s joy and endure the shouts of gladness as they scramble to find their treasured Christmas’s gifts. Our own faces exaggerate our surprise and happiness as they give us our Christmas’s packages they might have picked our and wrapped, with the help of someone when they were younger.

Of course we are constantly overjoyed to experience their own success of their lives and share tears with them when things go wrong. We try to encourage and be engaged with them as they learn life’s lessons, what ever those lessons might be for the both of us. There are a few gift’s that my children have given me that can’t not be procured by monetary means, some are priced beyond actual value.

And so it is with my daughter’s most recent gift to me and her step-mother. She has given us a way to negotiate the healing among the family; for me her ‘father’, her Mother, her Step-mother and hopefully her brothers in due time.

The other morning Kay and I accompanied a friend to the local Cancer Center for the first Chemo treatment, as they didn’t have family who lived close enough. As we were waiting in the open seating area to be seen by the doctor, my ex-wife arrived for her regular appointment and we said our hello’s. I thought that was quite a coincidence to see her. Between our friends doctor appointment and his treatment, my ex had finished her appointment and she stopped to chat. As she mentioned that my sister would be arriving soon for her regular appointment, she checked herself in and sat down with us. And so we introduced everyone to our friend and chatted about things, about time long ago, when my sister and I lived in Japan as kids. She went on to describe the earthquakes and typhoons we had to endure and some of the damages and discoveries with the aftermaths. Everyone was quite chatty until my ex had to leave to get back to her school job and my sister left for her appointment.

I believe that this encounter among the four of us only happened because of my daughter’s intervention. The fact that the encounter was so casual and delightful I give full credit to my daughter’s sincere efforts to bring the family back together. It has been because of her insistence to reconnect with me and bring a mature understanding that I had to transition; that I am and have always been the same throughout my life. That I have treated my wife and children with compassion and love; as both ‘John’ and Sarah. That I am a much happier person as Sarah and can hold my head high with pride. So, I thank you, my daughter, from the bottom of my heart for this most wonderful Christmas gift ever!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

In Defense of Affirming Christians

In Defense of Affirming Christians

Having just read parts of Hilary's speech this seem to have the greatest emphasis for respect and Religious acceptance:

but a portion of Hilary Clinton's address to the U.N. seems appropriate here:

The third, and perhaps most challenging, issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens. This is not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation. Some people still defend those practices as part of a cultural tradition. But violence toward women isn't cultural; it's criminal. Likewise with slavery, what was once justified as sanctioned by God is now properly reviled as an unconscionable violation of human rights.

In each of these cases, we came to learn that no practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us. And this holds true for inflicting violence on LGBT people, criminalizing their status or behavior, expelling them from their families and communities, or tacitly or explicitly accepting their killing.

Of course, it bears noting that rarely are cultural and religious traditions and teachings actually in conflict with the protection of human rights. Indeed, our religion and our culture are sources of compassion and inspiration toward our fellow human beings. It was not only those who've justified slavery who leaned on religion, it was also those who sought to abolish it. And let us keep in mind that our commitments to protect the freedom of religion and to defend the dignity of LGBT people emanate from a common source. For many of us, religious belief and practice is a vital source of meaning and identity, and fundamental to who we are as people. And likewise, for most of us, the bonds of love and family that we forge are also vital sources of meaning and identity. And caring for others is an expression of what it means to be fully human. It is because the human experience is universal that human rights are universal and cut across all religions and cultures.

We all have a role to play in securing equality. I, for one, appreciate the role affirming Christians are playing and will play. The least we could do is to say, "I've got your back."

Wednesday, December 7, 2011