My father passed peacefully at home. I knew it was getting close as he was sleeping more and not wanting to eat solids. His mind was there, but I knew he was processing the coming end. When he gave up wanting to drink his nourishment and told me he didn’t want his daily beer (his shot of whiskey was over 2 weeks prior) I called in hospice. This was on a Monday, and we all discussed options. Thursday, he had a bad day, and I made the dreaded call for medication on Friday. He passed before midnight in his bed. I lost both parents within 18 months. Talk about ghosts in the house! Everywhere there are reminders, even as I’ve begun the process of making the home mine.
I’ve called the lower-level mine for 12 years while my parents lived upstairs. Do I move up, stay down, or do both? Will Brina finally have her own room? You can imagine all the thoughts that run through my head as 90% of the reasons I previously had to hide her away are gone. I still might have the occasional person stop by, but I don’t need to answer the door unless I don’t know them and then it might be fun… The biggest concern is when my daughters and their families come to visit or when my best friend does, and he stays over. I have time to process it all. There is a celebration of life at the end of July, a fishing trip with my friend (we’ll spread some of my father’s ashes) in August, and then… I can only hope, dream, and survive.
Yes, survive. One day at a time. It will take a while for the ghosts to fade some and to figure out the rest of my life. It feels weird not to worry about being interrupted and to dress anytime I feel like it (instead of in the wee hours of the early morning). At some point, I must decide how long to keep this large house that a family and not a single person should enjoy. It’s on a river in a country neighborhood. The upkeep is much in the way of yard needs, not to mention cleaning (which can now be done in a dress and heels if I desire.) I mentioned before that I sold out my practice, and I’m not ready to fully retire. I’m looking into an area where I can do it anywhere and from home. Something that my diminished hearing can still tackle. If I move, do I stay local or finally dip painted toes into another local? Staying put means (for me) the necessity to still be partially in the closet. Moving… the possibilities… and the conversations with my daughters about what I might become. Even in staying, that talk will happen eventually.
It’s been a month since Dad passed. I’m preparing for the world’s second-largest garage sale and making this place more me (Brina’s too!) She will get more space downstairs. It will be baby steps in my heels as I venture farther away from the safety of the closet and ponder all possibilities. I just returned from 9 days with my oldest daughter, her family, and my friend at Disney and Universal in Florida. A much-needed vacation after the last two years (I could feel the past anxieties falling away.) Today, most of the maleness I let take control the last few months dissolved down the sink as Brina said, “Enough is enough!” I had to agree. Still, I have hair on the legs until late fall and only trimmed it up on the arms. The rest of me is back in Happyville! Lots of estate stuff to do, much to decide, and some new clothes to buy… although I won’t get crazy as I plan to get into shape—no excuses, and don’t want to buy things to fit now and will need to be stored or gotten rid of later. It also means expanding my wardrobe to be more reflective of womanhood, and not just the glamorous side. Talking to you feet and the need to get some flats and low heels, pants and shorts, too. I celebrated by gassing up the car this morning, okay, early morning at 5:30 am. In my evening dress and 5-inch heels! A girl has to flaunt it occasionally!
I can now plan Brina getaways and do that studio makeover I always wanted to. Heck, you might even see me at an event soon. I plan to visit with a therapist and really discuss things. How far Brina steps out into the light remains to be seen, but in the light she will be. So many burdens and their collective excuses have been mitigated. I feel free, but also cautious. I could jump into the deep end of the pink fog and float along, but that isn’t likely, not yet, maybe this fall. I can see it happening. What will happen is the gradual loosening of the fears and learning to breathe as I take in the wonders of this amazing gift that I once sought so hard to bury.
I wish you all a little freedom and peace! Breathe, laugh, and treasure each time you have a chance to just be you…
Until next time…
More Articles by Sabrina (Brina) MacTavish
- It’s a Wonderful (CD) Life
- A Crossdresser Thanksgiving
- Where has My Woman gone?
- To Be or Not (No, it’s to be!)
- Farmer’s Tan