I want to thank you for sharing your condolences yesterday when I shared the news about the loss of our daughter. They were a balm. When this hurts a lot, I can go back and look at your good words and be comforted.
Here’s a photo of Rana with my brother Rick. She had just graduated high school; it was 2004.
When you have a child who has transitioned their gender, it’s hard to know how to refer to them when speaking of times before their transition. In 2004, Rana still identified as male, and was called Ross. She became Rana only a few years ago.
Rana told me it was okay if I used he/Ross when speaking of her before her transition.
2004 was the year my marriage to Ross’s mom came to an end. That began the hardest time of my life.
The divorce was acrimonious and Ross’s mom forbade him from talking with me. I had no contact with Ross for a couple years.
After the divorce was final and my life settled, I reached out to Ross and invited him over. He came right away. We met clandestinely for more than a decade, keeping it a secret even from my two other sons, as Ross believed his mom would not approve of our relationship.
By this time, Ross was an independent adult and had a full life, so our meetings were infrequent. But we both made sure they continued.
Finally Ross decided to stop the charade and let his mom know. It was a blessing to be able to invite Ross to family gatherings at last! To be a whole family, as we always should have been.