I got a phone call from my daughter in Seattle this morning. This never fails to cheer me up, but today was different. Her sister—my other daughter—is getting married in April…and I am specifically uninvited.
She and I have not had the best of relationships since her mother and I divorced when she was 16, and it was further complicated when I was outed as transgender. She has found religion, and both she and her fiancée are conservative evangelical Christians. I’m sure you know the kind: the ones who love everyone except those who don’t think exactly the way they do.
So yes, I’m hurt. But I realize it’s her choice, and as much as it pains me to do so, I will honor that choice.
And I realize that today, some 20-odd years later, it’s time to attempt a reconciliation, and that I have to be the one to take the first steps. I certainly don’t want to be in the position I was in with my father who, after almost 10 years of silence, reconciled with me—four days before his death.
Maybe I’m feeling Wordsworth’s Intimations of Immortality:
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.
Or maybe I’m just feeling my age: I’m 67 years old, and I realize that it’s time to start thinking about end of life care, powers of attorney,
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea
As Ol’ Possum so eloquently put it.
Indeed, I’m composing this entry over a cup of Earl Grey tea.
Yes, it hurts. But it’s up to me to decide if it’s the pain of growth or the pain of an end.
I choose growth.