22 July 2011

Another Family Reunion, Sort Of

Given the amount of time I lived in "transition," and the fact that two years have passed since my surgery, you might think that I wouldn't or shouldn't be fazed by situations like the one I'm about to face.

I've told Millie and Bruce and a couple of other people about it.  They say I'm going to be OK, and everything is going to be OK.  I know they're right:  Even if things don't go the way I hope, I don't think I can experience anything more difficult than anything else from the past few years--or, for that matter, anything that preceded them.

On Monday I'm going to see my parents again.  That's nothing new for me, of course.  I don't even feel anxious about it:  It's been a long time since anything dramatic, let alone cataclysmic, has happened between us.  I guess that has to do with the fact that we're all getting older.  I'm not sure I could shock them at this point in our lives, even if I'd wanted to.  

And, I am simply grateful for the way they've treated me.  Mom has been even more helpful and supportive than I thought she would be (and that's saying something), Dad has been even better than I thought he could be.  The good thing about that is that it allows me to be less worried than I might be about what some other people might think (assuming, of course they might think).  The bad news is that the thought that they will die.  That has been on my mind more since the last time I saw them, back in April.

So, you ask, if I'm not expecting anything new or dramatic when I see them, why am I worrying?

Well, Mike is going to be there, too.  I want to see him; he lives on the other side of the country and it's probably been about fifteen years since I've seen him.   During my first year of my transition, we were supposed to see, but just missed, each other when he came this way.  At that time, I don't think he'd even seen a photo of me as Justine, although we had talked and exchanged e-mails.  

Since then, he's seen not only those photos, but also this blog (or so I imagine), among other things.  We have talked and exchanged more e-mails; he probably has some impression of me based on those things and whatever Mom, Dad and other people have told him.  Even if all of what he's heard is wonderful, I am still a bit anxious because, really, he still doesn't fully know what to expect upon meeting me again, just as, truth be told, I don't know what to expect when I see him.  After all, since the last time I saw him, his son--who was a toddler when I last saw him--has become a young man.  So you can imagine how many other things have changed in our lives since then.  

Although my parents and I  went through periods when we didn't see much of each other, there was some continuity, at least, in my relationship with them.  Although some of the changes they saw were dramatic, and perhaps even shocking (at least in the beginning), at least they didn't miss long periods of my life.  That is in contrast to what happened with the cousin whom I met again just a few weeks after my surgery, and whom I hadn't seen since my childhood.  And, of course, what they experienced was very different from the experiences of those people who have met me since my I began my transition or those--like Millie--who didn't know me for very long as Nick.  And, I would imagine, that what my parents experienced is very different from what other people who knew me for a long time as Nick (I'm thinking of Bruce, for one.) witnessed.

Seeing Mike again, I expect, will be different from any of those experiences, and from other times I've seen him.  Then again, it might not be so different.  Either way, I'll probably be surprised.