We were celebrating 9 years of marriage. Life had given us a million twists and turns. Just a year before it was our first anniversary with me being my true self. I was not yet out to the world, so it was special whenever I had the chance to be me. Even if it would only be for a couple of days I was exited, elated, nervous and scared all at the same time. Even so, it was something worth celebrating. Even more so, I have been in love with this woman since I was 15 years old. Though we were celebrating 9 years of marriage, it was a lifetime of love that we were really celebrating.
“I WASN’T SURE IF I WOULD MAKE IT THROUGH THIS JOURNEY. I WAS DEALING WITH THE FALLOUT FROM FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS STARTING TO FIND OUT THAT I WAS TRANSGENDER.”
I remember she bought me some of my first outfits the year before, most of which would not fit at the time. I was stuck in this body that did not align with my soul. It was a confusing time. I wasn’t sure if I would make it through this journey. I was dealing with the fallout from family members and friends starting to find out that I was transgender. Though my world was upside down, at least I had her, the love of my life. She made me feel safe. She gave me hope at a time when there was none.
So it was a year later and I was pretty much full time. The clothes my wife bought for me a year earlier were finally starting to fit, as not only my body, but also our lives were evolving. I was pretty much out full time, with the exception of a job that was giving me a hard time about coming out. We were going to spend a few days in a nice hotel; finally getting some much needed alone time together. We made it through some of the toughest parts of transition. We were still standing, still very much head over heels in love. We had a lifetime of memories to celebrate and I just couldn’t wait.
We would have a nice romantic dinner together. Afterwards we would open some champagne and share our deepest thoughts. My wife would tell me how she wanted me to experience all the things I should have, had I been raised as the woman I really was. We talked and laughed into the night, sharing our intimate feelings with each other. After a while she handed me a box with a great big bow on it. I knew it contained something great as she always had a way of doing something beyond romantic when it came to our anniversary. What I didn’t know is how the contents of this box would mean the world to me.
I pulled open the bow to reveal 28 folded notes; each numbered representing the years we had spent together. I needed to open each one in number order. As I opened each note, written on the inside was one of 28 things she loved about me. With each one getting more interesting as I opened them, I had absolutely no idea where this as going as I was oblivious as I always was about such things. Eventually I would get to the last two notes with the first of the two saying “I just have one thing I want to ask you.”
“MY HEART STOPPED. I COULDN‘T BREATHE AS THE UNIVERSE BECAME SILENT, MOVING IN SLOW MOTION.”
There they were on the last note, the words “Will you marry me?” She pulled out a second box, which contained this big, bright red ruby engagement ring as she opened it. My heart stopped. I couldn‘t breathe as the universe became silent, moving in slow motion. I was overwhelmed and absolutely surprised beyond belief. I felt emotions I never thought I was capable of feeling. The tears started to fall from my eyes like a waterfall. My wife would tell me how she wanted to see me get a chance to walk down the isle as a bride.
I never allowed my self to think about such things. All my life I would subconsciously forbid it, whether it was denial of who I was or just me not wanting to think about what was not possible it my life. I never realized how important it was for me to be a bride until this moment. I realize how lucky I am to have such a person in my life to stand by me through this crazy journey I am on. I am not sure I would be alive if she were not by my side. I realize this is an exception to what most people like me go through. To be honest I often feel guilty about it. I watch so many of my transgender friends lose everything. I feel I am not deserving of such a love. Though I hesitated to share this moment with the world for that very reason, I realized that if there is hope for me, there is hope for everyone else. We focus so much on the struggles we go through and we rarely get to share the good things that could happen. Most of all, I owe it to her. She is my everything and I want the world to know how special she is. She loves fully and unconditionally, which is a rare thing in this universe. She deserves to be celebrated.
“I FIND MYSELF DAYDREAMING ABOUT THAT VERY WEDDING I HOPE TO HAVE ONE DAY.”
I am not sure if I well ever get to actually walk down that isle. Money is usually tight and we are still getting our daughters through college. What I do know is that a year later, I still catch myself staring at the ring on my finger as it shines in the light. Sometimes I hold my hand next to hers where she has the exact same ring and wonder if we will ever get there. I hope and dream that in the future, that day will come. Here we are a year later, celebrating 10 years of marriage. I find myself daydreaming about that very wedding I hope to have one day. I realized that every woman deserves to have her day if she wants it, whether she is transgender or not it is always a possibility. Though I have yet so far to go, I realize how far I have come in my journey. I think about a year ago when for that very instance I was lost in a dream. For all my life I have waited for this moment to arrive, but I just didn’t know it.
Happy Anniversary my love, I love you always.
Stay safe and keep fighting for all of us!
Love and peace,
P.S. – I said yes!