November 20, 2014

When Snow Falls in November

It’s snowing in Allen Park, MI in November. Not a completely unheard of event, but it’s strange to see white powder on the ground while there are still some lingering dead-brown leaves on the trees. 

It was snowing seven years ago on this day, too, the day my older daughter Dawn was born. I remember the day clearly, though as with so many things that happened during the beforetimes, in the long long ago, I can remember the day but have trouble connecting to it. I hate that feeling when it comes to things like the birth of my children. So many little things that depression and dysphoria have robbed me of. I love my daughter, as I love all three of my children, and I feel guilty for losing that connection. Am I a bad parent for forgetting? 

There are so many times when I’ve wished I could go back and do it all again. Go back to high school, when I first started to recognize the feelings I was having, and say something to my parents. Go back to college, when I was living independently but not yet set on my life path, when upending my entire existence to become my true Self would have been easier in many ways. Go back and not lose so many years to misery.

But then I remind myself that it was the life I had, not the life I wanted, that gave me my daughter on that snowy November day. Alison would not have met her ex and fallen in love; Alison would not have made a life and found a job with that woman’s; Alison would not — could not! — have sired three beautiful children. These three beautiful children that I love so much today. 

Only He could have done that. Alison would have been as out of place in that hospital room as snow on a mid-November day. 

I routinely see trans women and men who transitioned young lamenting the fact that they don’t have children of their own. For better or for worse, all those years of misery brought me three little humans who are the most important things in my life. If I had the chance, would I trade them for another decade of being my Self? Not in a million years. 

Lives happen. I missed an opportunity all those years ago, but all of the regret I feel for missing it pales in comparison to the emptiness I would feel without them in my life. And for all the years I was disconnected, “not there” emotionally, I’m determined to make up for it in the years to come.

When the snows falls in November, I don’t complain. Instead, I let them help me remember. And maybe someday, when I’m whole again, they’ll help me connect too.

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  • Great post, Ali. It’s human nature for anyone to have all those “what if’s” or think about turning back time and doing things differently, as if it were a TV show like “Being Erica” (where the main character got to do the regrettable moments in her life over again). I freely admit to having those “what if” feelings as well: What if I furthered my education? What if I stayed in Green Bay and never moved to Madison? What if I chose another job I may never have been comfortable in? Yes, life happens to everyone, and everyone’s life happens differently. The key is to appreciate all those moments in your life; to appreciate and savor the warm moments (like, say, the birth of your children); and to apply what you learned from the low moments to better your life now (just like Erica Strange in “Being Erica” did). Oh, and to never forget that no matter what happens, you live an amazing life.

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