As a child I adored my dad. Come adolescence, he began to seem old to me, a stranger, far removed from my own world. In my eyes he was unable to truly comprehend what happened in my life.
Many years later, when I turned forty, I noticed with astonishment that deep inside I hadn’t changed much from the teenager who had always been so full of positive energy, hopes and dreams.
And I wondered.. had my father always remained a young man inside as well? His character and emotional predispositions might be quite different from mine, but we could have more in common than I ever thought possible.
As small as this epiphany seems, it went a long way in helping me to understand my dad better. He still triggers tidal waves of emotions in me but, our worlds have moved closer together. Instead of being offended at how different our planets are, we have finally arrived — if not on the same star, than at least only a few light years apart instead of thousands.
Writing my book has done wonders as I re-experienced so many key events involving Dad. As I dove deep into my own story, I remembered him vividly and he came alive within me: his warm smile, his calm loyalty, his limitless generosity, his boyish behavior, his tears, the trauma of his marriage, his love affairs, his struggle with depression, his breakfast tomatoes, his passion for swimming, and his kindness in giving me my first razor and a bottle of Cool Water at the start of my hormone therapy, long before I had my gender reassignment surgery.
Now, moving back to within an hours drive of my dad is another huge geographical as well as emotional step towards each other. We meet and we talk. And even if sometimes I still get impatient, I am profoundly happy to have him in my life.