Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Letter To A Former Self

Dearest G. M.,

I am sorry that it has taken me more then two years to write to you. It was not because of any ill will, but rather because I simply did not know what to say or even how to say it. Over the past two years, I have learned so much and experienced so much more, and all of that would not have been possible if it were not for your sacrifice and for giving up everything for me. For that I am eternally thankful for you.

I know it was not easy having me share your body with you. I know that you wanted me to go away at times and that when I did I came back stronger and more determined to live each time. I know that you had to give up yourself to allow me to be alive. I know that all the chaos I caused in your heart and in your head was not easy to manage. But above all else, I know that despite everything, you still gave yourself up for me to live.

What I did not realize until very recently was that you gave yourself up voluntarily, with no questions asked when I came out. I did not realize that you gave up control of your body to me, no questions asked, so that I could began my transition and become the girl I am today. I only realize now that when you went away and gave me the keys to everything, that you did so because you loved me so much. It was only with that love that I was able to come out and go full-time a mere 48 hours later. This was not the smartest decision I ever made, but doing so allowed me to start being myself and start learning and growing right away.

Your friends were surprised and your family was shocked. But most of your friends came to love me and accept me with open arms and lots of love. I carry Christine and Ali in my heart always because of their love and acceptance, and even though they do miss you from time to time, they are glad to have me in their lives. For that, I am so thankful for you. Dad's family accepted me too. Mom's family...not so much, and even mom had a tough time at first with it. But even though you had to go away, she now has a loving daughter and she is proud of me, for what it is worth. I know that if Dad were alive today, he would accept me too, and mourn your loss like all of us did.

But you should know that I am happy and that I am doing better then I ever dreamed of. There are days where I miss you and all I think about is your love, your drive to make the world a better place, and that dorky little smile of yours that everybody loved so much. I wish beyond words that you were alive today, not because I want to go back to being you: you know I can't do that, and besides I am very happy with how I look, with my life, and with what I have done today. Still though, you were like a brother to me, one that I shared so many experiences with because we shared the same body. I wish you were here today with a body to call your own. I wish I could hug you and look into your eyes and tell you everything that has happened since you've been gone. I wish you could hold me and tell me that everything was going to be alright when things were at their darkest. I wish I could tell you how much I love you, and how much I still care about you. I miss you dearest brother, so much.

I still carry your memories and all of your scars. I am so sorry that you went through all the trauma that you experienced, from being a victim of rape to holding the lifeless body of your best friend in your arms when he was shot. I still carry your wounds, and only now are some of those wounds finally starting to heal. But I do bear your scars proudly, for your experiences are the reason why I am the woman I am today. I still carry forward your dream of making the world a better place, and your fight to make sure no one will ever have to go through what you went through, trying as hard as I can. I do this because I know this is what you wanted, and I proudly carry your legacy forward. You would be amazed and proud of me for what I do to make the world a better place for both my people and for everyone else as well. You would be so astounded that I was able to save so many other lives, just like you wanted. I couldn't have done this without you.

It was only because of what you taught me that I am the woman I am today: teaching me the value of doing the honorable thing, of being loyal and taking care of those you love, and above all else, to be myself and to learn to love myself for the person I am. You taught me so many things, and again, I am eternally grateful for you for teaching me those things. If it weren't for your scars, I would not push so hard to try to do the right thing and to help others whenever I can. If it weren't for your sacrifice, giving up the ultimate price and relinquishing all control over yourself and your body to me....I wouldn't be alive today without that. I am so astounded that you gave up everything for me, if only so that I could be happy and could make a life of my own that you would be proud of. You gave up everything completely and without question, showing me the strength and courage of sacrifice. I cannot thank you enough for that, even though I only now realize the cost of it all.

Two years later, I have a body I can be proud of. I have friends that love me, I have a mother who cares about me. I have a life I never thought possible, and it is all because of you and the strength you gave me to push forward and to succeed.

I will always have a part of you in my heart, and part of you still resides with me (I call it my bro-ish nature in honor of you), and its very comforting having that masculine part of myself...that part of you inside my heart. It gives me the conviction necessarily to strive forward day by day, bit by bit forward and forward. I know that wherever you are in the heavens and the constellations, you are looking down at me and smiling and you are proud of me. For that I am again, incredibly grateful and so thankful for your love and kindness and acceptance of me.

I am thankful that you gave 21 years to yourself for you to live your own life. I am so sorry that I had to come out, but I am thankful that you understood that this was necessary, and that you gave up everything on the spot to allow me to come out of the shadows and into the light. You took that bet, made that gamble to allow me to live. I haven't let you down, and I sure as hell will fight on to make sure your sacrifice will never be in vain.

I love you my dearest brother, and I would do anything to see your face one last time and to hold you and to tell you that everything was worth it and that you helped me succeed more then I ever realized was possible.

So thank you. Thank you so much for all of your sacrifices, and for the biggest one of all that you made for me. I will not let you down brother. I can promise you that much for sure.

If you're with Dad at all....tell him I miss him too, and that I am sorry I never came out to him before he died. I'm sure he is happy with me too, for what its worth. Still though, give the old man a hug for me too.

Your energy will always be in my heart, in my life, and every time I look into the night sky, I know you are up there smiling down upon me.

I love you so much brother, I really do.

With Love and Kindness from Your Dear Sister,

Sarah C.