Tuesday, December 31, 2013
I have said that I have 3 children and my daughter graduated from Brandeis in 2004, but her brother graduated this semester after overcoming some personal medical difficulties to graduate this year with a degree in math. It has taken him a few more years than his sister, but I was extremely proud to watch him walk across that stage a few weeks ago. Seeing his determination and drive to finish his degree filled my heart with so much joy.
It was the first opportunity to have the whole family together again for the first time since I transitioned. My daughter helped in so many ways to make sure the family was comfortable and cautioned me to take the first meeting slow.
After the family got together after the official ceremony, we all went out to lunch and was able to have great conversations with all of the family and with my grandchildren; they have grown so much. Then again everyone joined my son at a Graduation Party that night.
My daughter has been planning a surprise for her boyfriend who has always wanted a boat; well we had a pirate party and she managed to buy him a small sailing boat to work on and play. He has always had dreadlocks and she sent him on a scavenger hunt to get his coat and call for his last present; the boat. What an awesome couple they make and now with the boat I see many happy days on the water. It was another opportunity to get the family together again.
We had invited everyone over for lunch on Christmas eve and the weather was nice enough that we were able to eat outside on the porch as my ex-wife joined us for the day.
Everyone seemed so relaxed and happy as we dined on our holiday meal of soup and salad with a few deserts, like our version of the Alton Brown's free range fruit cake doused with a good helping of bourbon sprinkled over the top.
I am not sure if I can measure the joy and happiness I am feeling as this year comes to it's end. Having my family together again under one roof is a dream and vision I thought would never happen this soon or if ever. So much time has passed but I will not dwell on what could have been; what I have before me is so many opportunities to build on that Christmas Eve day, to make new memories with my family and with my grandchildren.