11 July 2010
The other night, I was talking to an uncle of mine. Actually, he's the last surviving uncle I have. And he happens to be my godfather.
I haven't seen him in about a dozen years or so. So, of course, he has not seen me since I began my transition, much less since my surgery. He's only heard about those things, from me and probably from other members of my family.
Once during our conversation, he referred to me by my old name. And, when my aunt called him for something or another, he told her, "Wait until I get off the phone with him." He apologized; I told him not to worry and not to apologize ever again. "If I saw more of you, I could get used to it," he explained.
I understand what he means, but it seems so odd to me now that anyone would have to "get used to" the fact that I'm a woman named Justine. I have always known myself to be female, and about a year or so into my current life, I stopped thinking of my old name in connection with myself in my past. In other words, I would think about the day Justine, not Nick, split up with Tammy or about the bike tours Justine took in France.
What's ironic is that I think now of how much my uncle must have changed since the last time I saw him. He sounds about the same over the phone, but I don't expect that he would look as he did twelve years ago. Also, I wonder what he can and can't do as he did back in those days. He's had some illnesses and was injured in a car crash. I don't think those experiences have changed his core being, but I'm sure that they've made him different in ways I couldn't detect over the phone.
I wonder whether I might have to "get used" to him.