Author’s note: I first want to thank everyone who helped me with this story. I am just going to leave it at that for the reasons for the thanks are personal and they all know why.
It was a sunny day in the Mojave Desert and the only thing brighter was the smile on my face. I was so close to finally seeing my mother for the first time. I should be clearer: my female side, Sarah, was going to meet her mother for the first time. This made it an important day. I grew up knowing the love a mother has for her son, but really needed the love a mother has for her daughter.
I have talked to my mom much since we first met and knew of her before we even started to chat.. I only knew the important and vital information about her. That she was kind, caring, compassionate, wise, outspoken and I would recognize her as soon as she came into my life. The unimportant information like her name, what she looked like, and where she was I did not know.
Those trivial details I could not know until I actually met my mother. Only feeling that bond a mother has with one of her daughters would confirm who she was. Knowing that feeling the bond was the only way I could find what I was looking for, I told no one I was a motherless child.
I intuitively knew that I would met my mother in my sojourn through life discovering who I was. I had to be Zen with finding her; I needed to look without searching, ask without using questions, see without using my eyes and finish the quest by not partaking in it. Completing this pilgrimage to knowing and meeting my mother was going to be the journey I never took.
Along my travel to my personal Mecca of a mother-daughter reunion, I met so many people who helped and guided me along the way. They were friends and mentors, who forged me from being a lonely girl who never ventured outside of her mind to become a confident lady ready to admit to myself that I finally met my long lost mother. I thanked them the only way I knew how, by being a friend and mentor to anyone who needed help on their journey through life.
I finally pull up to her home. I was so nervous because even with feeling her love and caring for me in the first email she wrote, I was scared of rejection. Sarah has been rejected by so many in her life. What made that rejection worse than normal, the people who did that rejection did not even know her or that they were rejecting her. It was my ‘male’ side family who would mention in passing how men should act like men and women should act like woman. It was my friends who only knew my male side saying in passing things like “quit acting like a girl” to each other. It was society not knowing the difference between gender and sex. All of those actions pushed Sarah into a corner of my mind until I had to lash out .
I lashed out by not allowing my female side to be confined to my future. I always told myself when the time was right I would explore who I really was until I finally asked “how soon is now?” I embraced Sarah by just being her in private. It might have been alone in my apartment but it was so freeing. Then I allowed her to venture out by having her interact with others. That was when I started to grow and got a satisfying life. I was making friends who saw me for who I was, I made a close intimate bond with a man who became my husband. Our wedding was special to me. It was shared by close friends and family but I did miss having Sarah’s mother there. I know modern culture makes such a big deal about how special a bride’s wedding day is to her father; I think it is more important to the mother. Her daughter has now joined her in being a matriarch of a family.
Then a couple of years later I met Chris, a kind man who offered to edit my stories. He was a positive person who saw the potential in my writing. Chris’s strength came from how passionate he was about his compassion for others and being sensitive. His encouragement helped me to become a better writer. He became a friend, but little did either of us know that we shared the same ‘mother’.
Then that fateful day happened, he shared how much he liked my story with his friends and Elle contacted me. Her email made me feel good about writing that story. Her writing conveyed how kind, caring, compassionate, wise, and outspoken she was. She was a force of nature.
It felt so natural for me to write back to her. I brought up a joke Chris told me about Elle adopting people as her ‘daughters’. The next email she called me daughter and it felt right; I had found Sarah’s mom. The years of my search were not in vain. My faith in the unorthodox manner of my search resulted in desired results.
So a couple of months has past and our friendship has grown. I came back home to America to visit friends and family and was going to be on the West Coast to see a couple of cousins. When I told Elle she said we will meet up. It was not a suggestion but also not an order. It was just stating the fact that we were going to, it needed not to be asked for we both wanted the event to happen. I told her I would drive out to Vegas for I never been to Sin City, the man made oasis in the middle of the desert. Mom was so excited that I wanted to come to her home.
I sat in the driveway fighting my inner demons of doubt. Seeing her look out her her window to see if I pulled up gave me the strength to drive those demons back to the abyss. I got out of the rental car and went to the front door. By the time I made it to her doorstep her door was open and she greeted me with a great big hug.
Her voice sounded like a symphony of happiness when she greeted me with “My Princess, it is so great to finally see you in person.”
I choked up and said “I am finally home mom, I love you.”
The home which I was talking about was not Elle’s abode. It was the feeling of peace and acceptance I had right then. I knew it would carry with me anywhere I went. I knew that I would never feel out of place again, I would not be a stranger in a strange land anymore. My journey from being a nomad to a settler was finally completed.
I was far from along the journey to become sedentary and had some many people who helped me. If not for my hubby I would not have been this close. Just knowing now I had a mother for Sarah was the final part I needed. I had what I needed to help me make my life entirely fulfilling.
Mom told me to come in and we went to the kitchen and she offer to make us some tea. She called me princess again when she asked me what I wanted in mine. I was even happier hearing it for a second time, it made me giddy. I never knew just being the princess in someone’s eye could make me feel so good.
Mom is just like me, a man with a female essence, persona, spirit or soul, the right word depends on how you see people like us. Even with us both having the costume for our male performance we did not see them. This is for we were using our hearts to see and the heart can only see what is important. I felt like Sarah without having the right outfit on.
I was so happy that I was fully able to tap into my true essence without having to use any totems. I had to use how I dress to naturally be able to just be myself for I spent too much of my life repressing it. Holding back on who I am has lead to me not have the confidence to show it without help.
As we drank our tea we just chatted. We talked about our male lives and how they were made better and worse by being females living them. Being who we are was just like being anything else, there was good and bad to it. Elle talked about how we had to make the decisions of which holes in our life we had to fill and which ones we can leave empty. How it was more important to live with the decision a person has made than knowing if it was the right one.
Then the conversation went onto our family. I saw a gleam go into her eyes while talk about each one of her children. How proud she was of Chris and using his insight in being a detective. How proud she was of Francine in running her salon in helping others. How proud she was of me for coming along with being able to be who I am. Her pride in us was based in what I believe is the right reasons. It was because we were who we are. She knew true success in life is being the best person you can be.
I added my thoughts on my new brother and sister. I told her what I already have said in this story about Chris, I do not want to build his ego up too much by repeating how great he is again! I also told mom how great Francine is, how elegant she is in her support to me and how welcoming she was to me. I then went on to tell mom how much she has helped me in the little time we had known each other.
I could tell that she was touched by what I said. I think she was more touched at how I saw her adopted son and daughter than her. She was proud of me for seeing them for who they are. Another reason she was touched more by what I said about the others was she is also modest. She does not find herself special for she lived her life by just being who she was. She did not think that made her special.
Our conversation felt so familiar with me. Part of it was I has had this conversation countless times in my head while I was adrift finding a space in the world for Sarah. The other part of the coziness of this conversation came from how comfortable Elle can make people.
The people in your life can act like a mirror and help you see your true self. Elle does so by helping people see the best in themselves. She builds up your strengths by pointing out how natural they come to you. She does so by helping people see their shortcoming as something to deal with instead of a weakness.
We spent the day together and it was close to bedtime. I was staying in her guest room and told her I was tired and we had a busy day ahead going to see the Hoover Dam. Yes one of my downfall is I have to do at least one touristy thing when I visit a place. She wished me a good night.
I went into the room and changed into my nightgown and heard a knock and then mom asked if she could come in. I told her of course. She had a smile on her face and told me that she had a special surprise for her princess. I got excited and asked her what it was.
Mom said “My dear princess I am going to tuck you in and tell you a bedtime story. Every girl deserves a special bedtime story which is tailor made for them and no one else. So get into bed and mommy will tell you all about the pretty princess Sarah.”
“There once was pretty princess named Sarah who was chained in the dungeon and forced to slave away her life in the guise of a male in order to gain her feminine freedom! Such is the lot of Sarah the princess.
After being stolen away from her home in a far away land and brought to this strange land, then changed into the body of of a man by an evil sorcerer, who intended to force her to marry his ugly troll of a daughter, she was saved by a handsome Prince. The Prince could see that though she was a male, there was a beautiful princess inside. The Prince fell in love with the male princess and wanted to find a way to change her back into her true self. The Prince gathered all the magic users in his kingdom to see if anyone could help . One wizard came forth with an answer. He said the magic needed to change the princess back into her true form lays not with us in the magic world, but within herself. She must live and work as a man in till she truly knows how life is for the common working man trying to support himself and those he loves in today's society. Only then can the princess would regain her true form and reign over her people.
So there you are sweetie, slaving away at your CNC machine, 12 or more hours a day in order to regain your true form as the princess you are. So now you know why you are who you are!”
I feel asleep before Mom even ended the story. My sleep that night was a peaceful slumber, one I only had before when at home. Then again I was at home now and will always be.
I woke up and ran downstairs not even thinking of changing yet. I wanted to experience breakfast as my mom’s daughter. We had a simple breakfast and I asked mom to repeat the story and I told her how great it was. Mom told me it was nothing, she just took my real life to make the story. I told her that was what made it great. She incorporated the truth into it and made me feel like the princess I was. She also worked in my love for medieval fantasy.
Breakfast ended and as we went to get ready for our day Mom said “Remember this about the bedtime story - you have to keep being the wonderful woman you are for it to finally end with ‘happily ever after’.”
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