Eileen in Genderland - Part 5

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Eileen in Genderland - Welcome to the Family

When the storms of life are strong
When you're wounded, when you don't belong
When you no longer hear my song
My blessing goes with you

The fellows walked off the field, tired and dejected only somewhat, having lost 19-10. Paddy Reagan patted each and every teammate on their back before walking to his car. He saw Eric Connors walking slowly off the field, looking anxious and hurried.

“Got a moment, lad?” He asked, motioning to Eric, who when seeing Paddy, became even more nervous, as if he expected something bad, which he did.

“Sure thing, Mr. Reagan.” Calling him Paddy on the field was one thing, but referring to his girlfriend’s father by his first name off the field was another.

“Dat’s okay, lad, you can still call me Paddy,” he said with a smile, but Eric remained nervous.

“I’ve been meaning to have a talk with you lad, and we just can’t keep puttin’ it off.” Paddy said as he sat on the hood of his car, shaking the sod off his cleats. Eric stood until Paddy patted the hood and pointed for Eric to sit down.
“I want you to know something, lad. It’s important for you to hear me out, because it concerns my daughter.” Eric immediately saw Karen’s face in his mind, and while the vision was beautiful, he was afraid of what Paddy was about to say.

“My daughter…my little girl. (Karen had just turned eighteen, so it was a doting father musing) means the world to me and her mother.”

“Here it comes,” Eric thought. Eric had been dating Karen for over a year; well, that isn’t quite true. Eric had been sharing Karen with his sister Eileen, who, as you know, was Eric’s femme alter ego. Eileen and Karen got along like girlfriends do, as well as getting along like “girlfriends,” if you follow me, giving her a decided edge over her “brother,” even though they were one in the same.

To make thing more interesting, Karen and the “twins” as Paddy referred to Eileen and Eric, were going to be going to Penn in the fall. Eric had actually been accepted into an accelerated program, because of his work in high school along with the college credits he had been taking. It had been monumental task for anyone, much less a boy who also balanced his school work with a relationship with a wonderful girl and his participation in the weekend rugby league. What made it remarkable was that he found the time to be “she,” making things hectic but interesting.

Even so, Eric was worried about how he was going to be treated, now that Karen was eighteen. Paddy no longer had the legal say-so for her life, but she was devoted to her parents, as all children of good people should be, and whatever Paddy would ask of her, she would do, no matter who it affected. Having a transgender girlfriend in a fleeting high school relationship might be one thing, but surely Paddy and Coleen would be thinking about their daughter’s long-term prospects, not only as a student and future doctor, but as perhaps a wife and mother. Eric put his head down, anticipating the worst. His eyes teared up, fearing the rejection that he had already experienced as Eileen from the few friends he had in school, along with the harassment that kids like he often receive.

A rough-hewn, large, but surprisingly gentle hand reached over and lifted Eric’s chin.

“Now none of that, lad. No need. Listen carefully. Karen is our treasure, lad. When her brother was born, we were the proudest happiest parents who ever loved a child; for two months until he died. Karen came along, and we just knew God had blessed us. Four more times we thought the same thing, and four times we lost each baby. We thought that God hated us, really we did. But each time we looked at Karen, with her smile and all, for all these years, we remembered we were blessed. Many’s a family that has lots of kids and is miserable because they don’t appreciate what they have. We learned a long time ago to be thankful for the wonderful blessing our daughter is, and that’s why we have to talk.”

Eric began to weep. He was nearly nineteen, but in so many ways, he still hadn’t left his pre-teenage emotion behind, having lost his mother suddenly only a few years ago. His coming to grips with his sexuality left him filled with doubt until he discovered that his step-father accepted his other half. Eric would learn later, you may recall, that his father had experienced a similar conflict when he was Eric’s age, and that his dad had his own alter-ego. All this led to confusion and doubt that came and went with all-too-frequent regularity for both Jamie and his son, save for the help of understanding friends and a good counselor.

“I tought oy said none of dat?” Paddy’s accent thickened as he tried to lighten the mood.
“I trust my daughter; I’d trust her with my life if it came to it. You need to know that.”

Eric looked at Paddy, trying to figure out just what he was driving at. Paddy did him a favor and actually got to the point.

“She loves you, lad. I know she’s only eighteen, and yes, she’s still my baby, but I know she has a good heart and a bright mind, lad, so if she loves you, there must be somethin’ good about it all. And before you start cryin’ again, I know she’s attracted to that other part of you. I’ve told you, lad. There’s an awful lot of your mother in you, and that’s a good thing. Most lads don’t usually show it the way you do, but as I’ve said before, who da fook cares, anyway. You are a good…no, you’re a great young man, who just happens to like wearin’ a dress once and a while. Losin’ five babies made me tink more about what’s important, and you have a heart of gold, as the little folk might say. You are da best ting dat could ever happen to my daughter.”

Eric couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Paddy Reagan had just said, not in so many words, that he was accepting…..

“What I’m tryin’ to say is, Welcome to the family, whichever you choose to be.” Paddy did something next that he swore to anyone who would listen that it never happened, but he actually reached over and hugged Eric and kissed him on the forehead.


In the morning when you rise
I bless the sun, I bless the skies
I bless your lips, I bless your eyes
My blessing goes with you

Bridey and Jamie sat on the couch. She had her head in his lap, and was enjoying the attention his fingers were giving her hair.

“I need to know one thing, sweetheart. Whatever answer you give me won’t affect my decision one iota. You are my darlin’ and I can’t wait ‘til we’re married.” Bridey looked up at Jamie with an almost impish grin, and she followed her smile with a long, lingering kiss. Jamie looked down and smiled back, closing his eyes as if to imagine what her question would be. He knew, almost in an uncanny way, what it was she wanted to know. They weren’t psychic; they didn’t believe much in that. They just had become so much a part of each other; that they almost knew all the time within the context of what was going on what each other was thinking.

“Yes up top, no down below.” Jamie almost giggled. They were actually teasing, since the two had already come to a decision based on past disappointments and regrets. Phil, Bridey’s late husband, had never become Lisa other than in the home. She had actually decided to transition but died before she and Bridey had the chance to see things through. And Jamie had discussed things over with his own wife Annie, but she died before they had the chance even to come to any conclusion. Bridey and Jamie weren’t about to make the same mistake. Jamie was already in the process of beginning his move to Philadelphia. He already had sold his Kitchen and Bathroom business and was in the process of moving into a position to run the financial end of Bridey’s studio and gallery. And he had begun to take hormones, nothing spectacular, but something new none the less.

“I was thinking the same thing.” Not to be vulgar, but Bridey looked forward in anticipation to enjoying all of her new mate on her wedding night. There’d just be a little more to enjoy, so to speak. They had planned very prayerfully to wait, like some do, until their wedding night to unite, and the wedding was only a few weeks away. Jamie, in deference to the solemnity of the day, would wear traditional clothing befitting a loving groom, while Bridey would wear her mother’s wedding dress. What each wore on the honeymoon and beyond was a matter of conjecture at the moment, but the choices were of color and design rather than gender, since Bridey was marrying Jamie Lynn Connors.


This is my prayer for you
There for you, ever true
Each, every day for you
In everything you do

And when you come to me
And hold me close to you
I bless you
And you bless me, too

The bride and groom danced the afternoon away after a lovely ceremony attended by some family and friends. Kenny Reilly from the team came with his beautiful wife Connie. Most of the team came as well and they all behaved themselves. A new friend came as a guest at the last minute, even though she’d been invited as someone else. Dr. Gina arrived at the wedding early, accompanied by her spouse, Dr. Katie Kelly. Ben was still a part of their relationship, but they had decided after much prayer and discussion that they wanted to enjoy this part of their relationship in public; Katie was already counseling in her ministry; it was almost as if to encourage others as well as certainly enjoying this growing aspect of their love for each other. (Ben was actually the only teammate who “didn’t’ attend the wedding) Eric served as his father’s best man, and Karen was maid of honor for her second cousin. It was a beautiful reception attended by a lovely wedding party that was about to get “prettier.”

Bridey walked up to Eric and whispered in his ear.

“I’ve got a favor to ask, and only you can help, darlin’” She said and handed him a room key. “Coleen is upstairs in my room waiting for you. I’ll see you in about a half-hour.” Eric looked at Bridey who smiled back and finished, “It’s something for both of us, sweetheart, you’ll understand when you get up there.”


About forty minutes later, a knock came at the door of the hotel room. Colleen opened it to find Bridey and Karen, still bedecked in their wedding finery. Bridey looked past Colleen to see the photographer setting up her camera in front of a backdrop. And in the middle of the room stood a lovely young lady, attired in a nice bridesmaid’s outfit identical to Karen’s. Looking only a little embarrassed, her cheeks slightly pink, adding to her adorable complexion was Eileen Connors. Bridey walked up and kissed her on the cheek.

“This means the world to me, and I hope to you. I can’t take the place of your mother, sweetheart, but I hope at least we can be sisters.” She had tears in her eyes, having loved this girl from the moment they met.

“It’s more than I could even hope for, and no, you aren’t my sister, Bridey.” She leaned over and kissed Bridey on the lips like family and said, “I love you, Mom!”

After about a half an hour of shooting, the photographer kissed Bridey on the cheek and bade her farewell; planning later to retrieve her equipment. Colleen kissed Bridey and Karen and Eileen and left to return to the reception. Bridey walked up to Eileen once again and said.

“I think you two need to be alone for a few minutes. You’ll have to change and meet us downstairs. I’ll see you in a little while, okay, honey?” She kissed the girls both and left to return for the end of the reception and their departure, leaving Karen alone with Eileen.

“I hope Eric doesn’t mind, but I think I rather like you more, even if I love you both the same, does that make sense?” She smiled, but there were tears in her eyes. Eileen made no reply other than a nod. Karen leaned over and began to kiss Eileen. She kissed her on the ear, on the fleshy part just in front. She kissed her on the eye, by the cheek. She kissed her on the nose, just by the brow. And she kissed her on the lips again and again.

“I love you…I’ve loved you since we first met at the rugby game. I was so afraid that you’d hate me.” Eileen started to cry, but instead of letting that take her away, she began to kiss Karen. She kissed her on the forehead, just below her hair. She kissed her on her neck, just behind her ear. She kissed her on her chin, right where the little line divides it. She kissed her on the cheek, right on her left dimple. And she kissed her on the lips again and again. A few moments later, but what felt like a blissful eternity, the two parted.


And when you come to me
And hold me close to you
I bless you
And you bless me, too

I bless you
And you bless me, too

There’s something incredibly exciting about a girl helping a boy take off his makeup, if I may be so bold. And they enjoyed that for a few minutes until Karen sat down on the chair by the desk and Eric returned to the bathroom to change.

She stood as Eric came back into the room, perhaps more handsome than she had ever remembered. She started to cry softly again and frowned as if to apologize.

“Do you mind me kissing Eileen like that?” She asked timidly, almost looking away in embarrassment.

“No, not at all, not if you don’t mind me kissing you like this?” He took her in his arms and kissed her more passionately perhaps than any boy had ever kissed a girl. They kissed for only a few moments, but again it was like a wistful eternity before they parted.

“Eric…” Karen said quietly.


“I’ve changed my mind. I like you just as much as Eileen. Will you both….”

“We will…I…we…I planned on asking your Dad and Mom tonight after Dad and Bridey leave. “Will you marry…us?”

“Oh, yes!”

The Blessing - from The Journey - Celtic Woman
Words and Music by Brendan Graham and David Downes

Coming Next: Jamie and Bridey’s Excellent Honeymoon!

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