Isn't she lovely? Yes! That's her alright, and I really don't care who knows it. I posted this picture of my beautiful sister, to share with the people who read my blog, and who care about me. Anyone else, who doesn't share that love, and who thinks they can make trouble for me, by exploiting her picture, can take a hike! I don't care!
We held a memorial service for my beautiful twin sister today. I had no idea how beloved she was! The service was held at her church. It is a large urban church, with upwards of 1,000 congregants. I have no idea how many attended the service, but the nave of the church was nearly filled to capacity! I didn't realize it as the service was taking place, because I was seated in the front pew with my mother and family members, but as I walked my ailing 89 year old mother up the center aisle and out of the nave, I was nearly gobsmacked! I couldn't believe it! It looked like an Easter Sunday service!
I held my composure pretty good through most of the service. But being the only boy, and surviving "male" in the family, it fell to me to be the supporting son to my mother. I don't mind that. She is my mother after all. As hard a time as my mother gave me growing up, and as indifferent as she was to my transgender sufferings, I still love the old woman. She came from a generation that just couldn't fathom the idea of gender variance, and God forbid, sex changes! Today Mom is very frail, and requires a four footed walking cane at all times, because she is loosing her balance, so I walked her into the front pew, and sat next to her, supporting her with my left arm, and holding the hymnal in front of her with my right, as we stood to sing hymns. As I said, I held my composure through the first three hymns, but when it came to the last verse of "Just As I Am, I Come", Mom was sobbing so much, that I couldn't sing anymore, and it was all I could do to keep from bursting out into tears myself. I know that my very good friend Caroline, advised me to forget about trying to be manly, and just let the tears flow, but how can you do that, when your 89 year old widowed mother is relying on you to be her strength? This is something that only those of us caught in gender limbo, can fully understand. I wanted to sob away with her, and yet there I was in a black suit and tie, with the entire congregation thinking, "Oh how sweet! Jane's brother is is comforting their mom in her grief!" And yet, I did want to comfort her. How could I not want too? I love her and I share her pain!
Last night , while visiting relatives were discussing Halloween in her high rise apartment, Mom gave us all a really good scare, when in a sudden fit of rambunctious indifference, she leapt from the sofa, and immediately tried to squeeze herself through a narrow opening, between the arm chair I was sitting in, and the end table; all in a compulsive attempt to retrieve a silly little stuffed vampire bear, that was sitting on a shelf in the dining room. I attempted to move my chair to accommodate her, but she was too impatient and said. "That's OK. I'm fine!" she managed to hurriedly squeeze through, but no sooner had she done that, then this frail 89 year old woman, who truly needs a cane to walk more than two feet, lost her balance, and did a u-turn around the back of the sofa, taking a serious tumble to the floor, next to the dining room table! Now Mom has already fallen and broken her hips twice! A soon as I saw her go down, I thought, "Oh God, no! Not again!" I rushed to her side to help her. Fortunately, she rolled like a paratrooper when she hit the floor, and sustained no heavy impact to her frail porous ostioporitic bones. She did however, receve a beautiful strawberry to her left elbow, as it brushed the carpet, breaking her fall. Today, she wore it like a medal, for bravery under fire! She's beginning to scare me! She still has a driver's license, an often takes off in her Mercury Marquee, to take care of business, without consulting any of us. I'm afraid on day she will become a statistic.
At the reception after my sister's memorial service, I still couldn't believe all of the people who came to honor her. One guy, who I didn't recognize, came up to me and said "Hi........, I'm so sorry about Jane." I shook his hand and said, thank you, but who are you? He told me his name, and shamefully, I realized that this graying old guy with a mustache, was my departed sister's first husband, whom I hadn't seen in over 30 years! I immediately grabbed him, and drew him into me for a great hug! During their marriage, in a futile attempt to pretend I was a man, I used to go fishing with him. Their separation ages ago, was anything but friendly, yet there he was! I think I may have severely underestimated his character!
Shortly after that, while standing next to my mother, who thankfully now, was seated in a comfortable arm chair, I heard a women call out my name. I looked up, and although it had been at least 35 years, I instantly recognized my sister's first roommate, from back in the early seventies. Her name is Joy, and I will always remember her as a joy to my heart. Absolutely one of the sweetest women, I have ever known! I wanted to talk to her so much, but unfortunately because I had so many other people to greet, I couldn't stop and go over to her, and before I knew it she had left. I truly regret that! She was always a genuine sweet heart. She married my first roommate, when I got out of the Army after Vietnam. Withing 15 years, he would be dead from a brain tumor. I never had the chance to talk to her again. They were followed by many people we had become acquainted with far in the past, along with countless members of her congregation that I didn't know from Adam. While Jane was a devout Christian, I have to confess that I am an agnostic. Jane, if you are out there somewhere, and I dearly hope you are, and you could see how many people loved you and came to honor to today, then surely you must feel that your life was worthwhile! And yes, your blinders have now been removed, sweet sister, and you now know who I truly am.
God love you Jane
Your sister, Melissa XXOO