The family has survived the deep stress of arranging Mom’s funeral services, she was laid to rest on Friday under the warm South Georgia’s sun.
How well did Sarah fare? I believe everyone welcomed me in their own ways. Most certainly the children had no problem warming up to Kay and I as were accosted by some very engaging playful ‘Lions’ disguised as the youngest children. Stories were told and laughter and chatter were heard most of the afternoon by and among family. Most of the extended family was there; except for those who could not get away. But Kay and I did get to meet the two youngest members of the ‘tribe’; Ava 7 months old and Liberty, 5 or 6 months old. Both families were quite thrilled when I gave each of them, one of my baby quilts.
My first wife was included as a family member as she helped my sister with my mother and had been out to eat with her on many occasions; when we had gathered to escort mom to the church she grabbed my arm and said, “I have something for you; do you remember anything about this cross?” I told her that I didn’t remember the story. So she related how the cross came into our hands.
There was this officer I knew and I bumped into him when I was at the International four day march that happens every year in Nijmegen Holland with the 3rd Armored Division Band; as we were there to play for the many military unit who participates. Anyway, this person I happen to know had forgot a shirt, and I literally gave him the one off my back. So as a return favor, he had gone to Rome and happened to see the Pope and he had this Cross blessed for me. This was the item that my first wife had reached into her purse to give to me while we waited to go to the church for mom’s funeral. I was blown away by her generosity; she didn’t really have to do this.
By the end of the day, two of my Nieces had taken the time to drive down and pay their respect’s. We were talking after the services at the grave site and the oldest niece told me that they did not know that I had transitioned and after telling my story she said; “I am so glad that you can be who you are and look so happy.” As one of them said; “If it wasn’t for your mother taking in my mother, we wouldn’t be here.” I haven’t seen or talked to either of them since my divorce, and I was afraid I would never meet them again. It seemed that none of my nieces or nephews that I had not seen since I transitioned had no problem with me. I don’t know what they will talk about when they are driving or flying back home, but most of them gave me a hug or told me goodbye.
I can’t describe the joy in my heart as my family stood to take a group picture; my daughter and her boyfriend, my son and his girlfriend, my oldest and their mother stood with Kay and I; all together. Remarkable!!