16 November 2010

A Wish At The End

Right now I want to be in Paris.  But not for all of the usual reasons.  Well, all right, I want to pedal along the quais and around the Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle to the Pont Neuf, and over to the Place des Vosges.  And, of course, to spend time in la Musee Rodin.  And la Musee Picasso.

But I really want to be there for Janine's sisters and friends.  Of course they don't need me.  But we've been exchanging e-mails, and one of her sisters said that she valued reading the things I said about her--especially that my e-mail contained words like genereuse and phrases like une force vitale.  She was especially happy to see that toutes dites comme ca:  People who have never met each other--that would be me and some friends she knew a lot longer than she knew me--were describing her in exactly the same ways, and had the same sorts of wonderful memories of her company and her cooking.

I wish we could have seen more of each other toward the end.  But she went from hospital to nursing home, and some days she barely had the energy to get dressed.  I know there wasn't much I could have done about that. But I wish that I could have spent more time with her in my new life, especially after she took my transition with an attitude that bordered on nonchalance.

Then again, I think she always knew me as Justine, long before I started to go by that name.  We had "girls' nights out" even before the "M's" changed to "F's" on all of my documents.  And she knew, even before I did, that she--to paraphrase Bruce--had befriended a human being, not a gender.  You really can't ask more than that of anybody, which means that you are all you can, or have to, offer or give.  

So, I have no regrets about our relationship, save for the fact that I didn't get to spend more face-to-face time with her toward the end.  I guess everyone who loves and is loved wishes for that.