After Life

Book Two: Purgatory

From Journeys and Transitions

by Melanie

Chapter 100

Closing the Gap

December 6, 2005

It is 5:20 in the morning.  We’ve gotten up and ready and don’t have to leave for the hospital for another ten minutes, so it gives me just enough time to do a final, pre-surgery entry.

Last night, Teresa and I cuddled and dozed and chatted into the wee hours.  It was the closest I’ve felt to her since she made up her mind to do this surgery so many months ago.

And as we talked, I began to see the reason why.

Although my love for her has never faltered, during this whole journey, I’ve felt us drifting apart, or perhaps I am the only one that felt it, but to me it was very real.

I have now come to realize that part of my closeness to her has been the common shared experiences.  Although we encountered different specifics, we both had SRS, both had the boobs done, both went through transition.

But when it came to feeling that we had completely transcended transgenderism, this was a land only she had traveled.

I wasn’t jealous so much, though there was certainly some of that.  No, it was more the sense that I really didn’t know what she was feeling anymore.  I couldn’t relate, and I felt she couldn’t really relate to me.

In our talks last night I likened it to a soldier going to Iraq and then returning home.  How could her loved ones ever hope to understand what she had gone through?  But if they also traveled to Iraq and worked with the Red Cross in humanitarian relief, although they would never know the full extent of what it was like to be on the front lines, they would certainly know the atmosphere of the place, the tensions, the fears, the rewards, and the lay of the land.

Teresa has moved into a new land, and though she may have hiked through the rugged valleys by going the full bore with Dr. O., I am at least taking the train across the trestle that spans that gorge.  I may not have the experience of the suffering of cutting my hands and slipping down the slopes, but now that I am seeing the territory, I CAN relate enough to say, “Oh, I can really see how difficult that must have been.”

Last night, I felt the same compass headings, just not the same distance.  But I now know some of what she hoped, what she feared, what she expected, and the whole range of issues she realized she could not anticipate.

And so, as I now must close in order to get to Admissions at the appointed time, I can feel that gap closing.  I can feel my ship closing in on the port at which she is stationed.  And as I told her just before we fell asleep, “I’m coming for you, honey.”

See y’all on the other side.

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