This morning I began a phase of disclosure that I had been dreading a few months ago, but which now seems somewhat achievable. With my mother and father dead, the key blood relatives in my life are my sister and my aunts and uncles. I have hinted to my sister that we need to talk, that it’s something really, really different, but good, and that we’ll need an afternoon to talk about it. I assured her I’m not dying or anything like that, so she seems ok with things at the moment.
As for my aunts and uncles, I have decided to start on my mother’s side of the family, the Law’s. My mother had one brother who was 13 years older than me, so he was like a really big brother to me as I was growing up. We were, and still are, close, and still have business dealings together in my hometown. In any case, my uncle and aunt, Jack and DeeAnne, are two American kids who grew up in the heartland. They have two great kids, Mitch and Arwen, and although I’m a half-generation older than them, I always felt really close to them as they have grown up. In thinking of whether to hit them with a letter-bomb or to sit down with them and break it to them suddenly, it occurred to me that what I’d really like to do is re-establish my communications with Mitch and Arwen, not only because I like who they are and what they’re doing with their lives, but also because I could ask them how they thought Jack and DeeAnne would react, perhaps giving me suggestions as to what to expect.
I wrote Mitch a few hints in Facebook, finally asking him if he thought he could help me with a thorny personal issue that I needed to tell his dad but didn’t know how. He said he’d help, as family is very important to the Law family. Ok, thought I, here goes.
This morning, I wrote my cousin Mitch the full letter explaining my situation, my decision, and my plans. As with the other letters I’ve sent out, either by email, Facebook mail, IM sessions, or plain old snail mail, I found myself jittery and nervous, playing the “what if he rejects me” game in my head until I saw that I had a response. I kept the Facebook window open in another screen while I did other things, thinking that I might spoil his message to me if I opened it too quickly. I finally peeked and didn’t see any cursing or all-caps rants, and this is what I read:
Wow, that is a lot to take in at once. As for my opinion, I think you must do whatever makes you happy and healthy. I have never been faced with something remotely like this, but I want to understand and make this transition as easy as I can for you since, in the end, you will be dealing with some huge changes that will be difficult to say the least. I have questions and curiosities but I need time to articulate them before asking.
As for my parents, I really have no idea how they will take this news. I don’t know if there will be an easy way to tell them or even begin to tell them. I will continue to think about this and try to help you come up with the best possible solution. I guess for now I can just say I support you and your family and will do what I can to make this transition easier for my parents.
What is there to say? I’m humbled and happy and proud to be part of his family.