Friday, November 23, 2012

Should I feel guilty?

So here is my family.  Too many to name, but as important as who is here are the ones who are not - My eldest brother and his daughter were unable to get to Ca. from Florida.  My eldest sister's husband is still in rehab after a stroke and one of her daughters stayed home.  But the biggest void is my brother Walt who escaped his continuous pain on his 60th birthday ... your presence was greatly missed dear brother.

Shortly after my last post the rest of my family showed up and the fun truly started ... I chose to do nothing ... truly nothing.  I was sociable, joked, told stories but did not lift a finger to help cook or clean up.

Pretty much every family visit I spend every evening in the kitchen or at the grill preparing dinner ... everything ... by myself.  I can manage to make enough spaghetti, sauce, meatballs and Texas toast for everyone and manage to time it so it is all hot and ready at the same time.

My brother starts off cooking.  Within a few minutes there is one of my sisters in the kitchen helping ... then my wife ... then my niece.  Pretty soon there are 6 people in the kitchen and they cannot manage to get everything simultaneously ... and on top of that my brother managed to scorch the sauce on the bottom of my wife's nice pot.  I couldn't help but giggle.

Thursday roll around and the hysteria is worse trying to heat a precooked ham.  We want to eat at 4:00, so all you have to do is heat the oven, calculate the heating time and let it go right?

Wrong!!  Apparently he needed to ensure it was just the right temperature, so he was using a meat thermometer on a spiral sliced PRECOOKED ham ... Geeze!!  Last year I cooked a turkey, stuffing, a similar precooked ham and biscuits and had it all ready at the same time.

My sister made homemade sourdough rolls.  This is noteworthy because they are so yummy ... practically an orgasm in every bite.  The problem of course was the fact that my brother could not figure out how to heat a ham and kept turning the temperature to heat it faster ... and burn the outside edges ... and dry it out ... but the rolls were good.

Another sister and her husband made the turkey, the dressing and potatoes.  The only annoyance is they never told my wife and I that they were doing the potatoes and dressing, so we bought stuff to make them ... but oh well, no biggie ... it all turned into a nice meal ... followed by the traditional pies and whatnot.

It is always bittersweet having a reunion such as this.  The food made for a festive feast.  The stories made for much reminiscing and laughter.  But the memories and laughter were hollow and painful when held in the light of my brother's suicide in June ... and the fact that this is likely the last time we will all get together with our mother.  She is not in ill health, but the affects of time are noticeable.

I tried desperately to wear tops that are feminine, but not girly ... several degrees beyond unisex.  I did not try to antagonize anyone and did not flaunt myself or clothes for the family, but I was prepared for a question or a comment about what I was wearing ... ... Nothing ... not a peep.  I know when I do officially announce that I am transgebdered that some in my family will not accept my decision.  This is yet another reason I do not foresee any future family reunions of this magnitude.

So do I feel guilty for not helping in the kitchen?

Do I feel bad that the majority of the expense was shouldered by the larger visiting families?

Am I regretting my decision to transition knowing it will likely kill any chance of any future family reunions?

The answer - No.

I have no reason to feel guilty.  I have done enough cooking and such for so many years ... maybe now others will appreciate the difficulty in getting the meals heated and served in a timely manner.

I do not feel bad that the families that have more children and more mouths to feed provide some of the food.  I do feel a little bad that the timing of my laser beard removal and impending surgery gives us less money to work with for this event ... but again, after years of providing meals they can pitch in a little.

My only regret about transitioning is that I waited 47 years to start ... although if I had started 2 years ago this week may never have happened.  I believe my slow motion approach to transitioning will make it easier for my family to see that I am not changing in any way that should be important to them ... I am just changing my appearance, my name and a few other minor things.

As a result of my additional free time over the past few days I have managed to take some interesting pictures while annoying the cats.

As usual, thank you for reading.  I am truly amazed that anybody finds my thoughts intriguing in any way.