Thanksgiving. A time to contemplate our blessings, to appreciate the bearers of those blessings and fill our hearts with love for them. This Thanksgiving I want to share with you one person I’m most grateful to. Someone who, in all likelihood, will leave the title I have come to know her by in the coming months. I want to share a story of thanks to my soulmate, my wife, and soon to be sister.
Your love for me survived the challenges of years and oceans apart,
Yet still it was tested before our nuptial when I shared the dark truth I knew.
I called it crossdressing, and through your tears and apprehension,
You loved me still. You married me still, and sailed across the oceans to be with me.
To a strange land where you had few friends and no family,
To a strange man you thought you had known, but now were wondering.
You steeled your courage and saw my first, feeble attempts at femininity,
You loved me still. You stood by me still, and in your pain you made room for me.
As the glow of honeymoon turned to the realities of marriage,
You opened a part of yourself to me, a part few had seen.
Amidst your shy and introverted nature you found the fortitude to talk about Vanessa,
You loved me still. You sought to understand me, and in your confusion gazed into mine.
As the toil turned to slog, and your hopes of curing me faded,
You sought to carve out a place for yourself in my heart alongside Vanessa.
Yet there was no need of that, for you are my heart and she is the body I am,
You loved me still. Your tears and frustrations cried silently into the cold night.
You looked towards the dim path of our future, of children I yearned for you did not,
And perhaps with wisdom of the prescient spared a young child from the turmoil to come.
You sat by my side through hours of laser hair removal, holding my hand and buoying my spirits,
You loved me still. You could see my journey proceed onward yet your never left my side.
You saw my one last attempt at freedom from this life, my gnashing and struggle,
Perhaps, in your heart of hearts you prayed it would work, you prayed for my deliverance.
But it wasn’t to be, I emerged from the desert of self-denial eager to drink of the water of life,
You loved me still. You watched as your husband gave up fighting against the person God had made.
You saw the gradual weeks roll over to months as my journey of self discovery continued,
Each step along the way must have torn you inside. The hair, the clothes, the makeup, the writing.
I could see your deep sadness, and that gave pause to the song I had prepared so long to sing,
You loved me still. You knew where the journey would take me, and what it would mean for you.
Your strength was there, even to the final days as you met the gender counselor with me,
You sat in the Doctor’s office with me as she prescribed my first round of hormones.
You went above and beyond what could be expected of a wife, you steadied my spirit,
You loved me still. You dried my tears even when yours should have flowed furrows in your face.
Without you I would not be who I am today.
Without you I would not have had the courage to be myself.
Without you my soul would have shriveled and died in a cowards impotent self-pitying cry.
Without you the journey of my life would be untraveled.
Darling, you have been my rock and my foundation.
You have held me when I would not have held myself.
You have caught me, and cuddled me even when it hurt you.
You have been my love, my strength and my constant companion.
You have helped give birth to Vanessa, and for that words are insufficient to convey the depth of my joyous gratitude.
I love you, my sister, for pouring your life into mine.
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