Does this number mean anything to you? I guess it didn’t to me either until last weekend when seeing what only can be described as a Red Sea of poppies cascading around the Tower of London, 888246 of them to be precise, each one representing a British or commonwealth soldiers death during World War One. A spectacular and humbling sight that reaffirms how grateful we should be to not only those that have fought for our freedom as a country 100 years ago but also for today, for those still serving us to keep us safe.
We arrived at Jakes apartment just before lunch so picked him up and headed out to eat, Matthew decided to stay home as he had revision for another exam. Jake did look pale and was still coughing a little, but hopefully the nasty virus he has had over the last couple of weeks is on its way out.
He did seem a little withdrawn but maybe I was looking too deeply. As we headed towards the train both hubbie and I laughed at how fast Jake was walking, his usual pace was a relatively slow one, I walk quite fast but this time he was off, I guess that’s what living in the city does to you in a very a very short time! There was nothing wrong with jakes appetite that I did note!
Jake is home this weekend for his testosterone shot so it will give us time to speak without anyone around, so a trip to Costa it will be to sample the new Christmas coffees and wow the Christmas cakes look delicious 😄
I also brought the nasty London virus home with me, when I text Jake to tell him the response was LOL oh yeah LOL!
Writing this blog has been a cathartic experience for me, it has helped me think through my emotions, deal with reality and learn from others. Now I’m in a place where I feel emotionally more stable I thought it would be good to hear from a grandparents prospective so today I’m introducing my mum and a piece she has written for me, she hasn’t read any of my blog so I apologise now to her if she spends the next few hours blubbering 😄
March the 7th 2013 is a date firmly implanted in my mind it was a Thursday I’d just got in from work and after having a shower then breakie I checked my iPad for any emails, when I saw one from my daughter I wasn’t too concerned but little did I know then how the impact of that email changed my way of thinking forever. I was told that my beautiful, clever,first granddaughter was so depressed she felt that she was transgender ( at this stage I wasn’t 100% certain about transgender ) but I was to learn very quickly.
One thing I knew for sure was that the way I felt about my granddaughter hadn’t changed one bit if any thing you love them more for what they are going through.
The first time I saw her after I’d been told was 6 weeks later we went over to take her her birthday present I just wanted to hug her forever and shield her from all the cruelties of the world, but you can’t do that because she has been so very, very brave in saying ” this is not me, the real me is a he” one of the hardest things for me is the name change. How hard it is to switch from Jess to Jake, as they say old habits die hard, but one thing I told him is that I will try very hard and to be patient as our generation ( grandparents ) find change very difficult. The good thing is today’s generation adapt to change and seem to see nothing as “normal” it’s just you are what you are. They also say times a healer! All I know is that time has given me time to come to terms with things which are NEVER going to be the same again, all it know is that in my eyes Jake has never looked so happy and contented and I’m so incredibly proud of him for being true to himself not many do.
My family are my life male, female, gay, transgender, whatever, nothing breaks the bond you feel for your children then grandchildren, life goes on as we grow older and hopefully wiser and less judgementle of this world.
I thought I would share the following story as I think it shows how easy it is to forget the new pronouns and slip up without even meaning to.
As I’ve said previously I’ve been left with a gerbil and 2 budgies, now the furry I can cope with as he is on borrowed time,his brother died 3 months ago, although at the moment he is showing no signs of old age! The budgies, well not a choice of mine but Jake adores them, Gilbert he has had since he was 7 weeks old, so he is very tame, whilst finny was about 3 months old so cannot be handled. They would tweet away in the evenings when Jake was home and seemed quite happy. Since Jake has left home I have had to take over the care as he wasn’t allowed any animals in the apartment he has rented, I think he said ‘ in 2 years if we move I will look for one where I can have him’ great at least 2 years I will need to care for the unwanted pets!
Every morning I go into jakes bedroom, open the curtains and say ‘ good morning boys‘ I switch on the radio, feed them, maybe have a little chat with them and then leave them for the day.
A couple of weeks after Jake left home I realised Gilbert was beginning to behave strangely, constantly shredding the sandpaper on the bottom of the cage, I thought he was missing Jake, until last week on my usual morning greeting I stopped and stared into the cage, there sitting on the bottom amongst the shredded paper was an egg! ‘ WTF‘ I said ‘ so your not a Gilbert after all?’
Four years Jake has had this bird and never an egg in sight, 4 weeks under my care and look what happens!
I immediately sent Jake a text with a picture.
Jake couldn’t believe what had happened but kept referring to Gilbert as him, even though I said she, funny that how difficult he was finding it to use the correct pronouns on a 4 year old budgie, it will be interesting to see if he begins to call her she and maybe gilbertine 😄
This weekend we plan to visit Jake, which will be lovely as I haven’t seen him since the end of September, hopefully a nice catch up over lunch and then we are heading to the Tower of London to see the poppies, well we will attempt to as its remembrance weekend, London will be very busy but it’s a wonderful tribute to those that fought to make us what we are today and we should all be forever grateful.