Sunday, 31 August 2008

Different paths, fate or heavenly intervention?

Different paths, fate or heavenly intervention?

The picture on the left is by kind permission of Nicky Susanti who took the photograph.There is something spiritually uplifting about the scene which seems so appropriate for where many of my dear friends & I are with our lives.

The wonderful emotions of the last 2 week had caught up with me a little. I am still so happy even though the reality of all the housework, all the bills & continuing to sort out all the remaining name change stuff beckoned.

Tuesday, I took my dear Dad to the funeral of the girlfriend he had for a year before he meet my Mum for the first time, some 60 years ago. Even though my Dad has been totally faithful & a completely devoted husband it was really considerate of my Mum & something of a surprise to my Dad that she even suggested he might like to go to pay his respects. My Dads ex girlfriend sadly had no living relatives at her funeral & it was only attended by those who knew her at the care home she lived out her last few years. Dad said she was a really lovely kind lady. The sweetest you could wish to meet. He loves my Mum completely but he clearly held a torch for this dear girlfriend. It got me thinking. What if they had stayed together? Life is so short & full of crossroads.

A dear girlfriend of mine Julia has been going through a very traumatic time recently. The poor love has been under a lot of stress recently & had two massive angina attacks in a week. She had been treated appallingly by her GP who provided her with no care what so ever largely because she is a carer. At long last she finally got to see a gender specialist & her hopes were raised that in spite of a serious heart condition she may be able to have hormones & GRS. Those hopes have now tragically been dashed. She has the most amazing spirit & she has been a very special friend to me. She is a carer for her partner and realises she is not much use to them dead. For some this could be a time to fall apart & who could blame them. Not my friend Julia. As we are both carers we have great empathy for our plight. We have shared some dark times & helped each other through them but she is the one with the incredible fighting spirit & determination.She has decided to live the life she has now as fulltime female carer/housewife. It's not quite what she wished for in the first place but she seems at peace, which to me is a miracle of great courage.She has generously offered to help and support any person on the subject of living fulltime without hormones. Some how in her heart she has found the strength to turn adversity into a positive experience & give something back to others. If only those selfish bitches who deliberately start labels wars on transgender forums could appreciate the pain they cause to women like Julia who are more naturally female than they will ever be even after all the medical treatment available. I feel so fortunate & humble to have her as my friend.

Another inspirational girlfriend is the lady who saved my life & supported me so much, my best friend. She is a very talented wildlife artist & her husband a very gifted photographer. Due to an awful incident at the previous exhibition when they were helping an un well friend & treated appallingly she resigned from the organising committee after years of dedicated service. At the time this incident divided friendships & was heartbreaking for all involved as all but the instigator really cared about our friendships. She suffered the sad loss of a loved one soon after Christmas & her art for a time was the least thing on her mind. In the two years I had been unable to paint it was a joy to watch her talents flourish. She pushed herself with every painting she produced learning new techniques & progressing from being a very good illustrator to a true artist. As artists we can often never appreciate our progress & are always striving for more. She is not a full time artist & her day time job as a care manager is very demanding & stressful. When she was able she returned to her painting & no longer tied to helping out at the exhibition she bravely decided to put on her own one woman art exhibition for the first time in her life. Having your own solo exhibition is sooooooo much more personal & carries so much more pressure. Her friends & family all knew how good her work had become but she was lacking a little confidence & right up until the last minute doubted her ability. She need not have worried. Someone on high was looking after her. Her exhibition went on for 2 weeks & has been a huge personal success. All her hard work has been rewarded. She has sold most of her originals, many prints & cards & received a number of commissions. Her work was bought not only by friends & supporters but also by new buyers she had never meet before. Her dear Mum who is now looking down at her from heaven must be so proud of her talented daughter.

The lovely mutual friend who was unwell last year who also resigned had produced her best ever work this year & it took her tremendous courage to be able to return to the scene of such a sad incident of which she was also totally blameless. She faced her demons & came out so much stronger. When she stepped up on stage to receive an award for the most improved artist supported by her partner & friends there was hardly a dry eye in the audience.

The friend who was the instigator of the sad incident last year sadly failed to sale a single painting. I take no pleasure in that at all. I will always be grateful to him for transforming my life over the last ten years. Without him I would never have made so many special friends, travelled the world & enjoyed my creativity. Stress does terrible things to people sometimes & I always want to try to see good in people. This year thankfully he has had a very successful year selling his paintings for ten of thousands of pounds so thankfully this was only a blip for him. He is usually very hands on & very stressed because the exhibition would simply not happen without him. This year he was genuinely really nice, humble & pleased for everyone’s success. He was more relaxed than ever before which was lovely to see. I have remained his friend through out hoping to build bridges & this has sometimes put me in a difficult situation amongst our mutual friends. My biggest hope for the exhibition was that all my friends who had fallen out would make their peace given time. Friends can be as important as family. I love them all. Some of those broken friendships have thankfully miraculously healed to some extent although what happened may sadly never be forgotten. It does no good to dwell or live in the past. Life is too short.

I had the privilege of meeting another dear friend on the last day of the exhibition. Dear Jo, a delightful compassionate warm eloquent stylish woman just simply trying to live her life. I had a lovely time talking with her. We were in the place that has become such a haven to me & to be able to share it with yet another truly inspirational girlfriend was a joy. As she has so beautifully already said about her blossoming new life “It's was entirely NORMAL for women to be able to do such things without undue hassle. Not long ago all this seemed like an impossible, ridiculous, dream" & I concure with those feelings completely.

Tomorrow another wonderful friend Nicky Susanti begins her first day at work as the person she was born to be. She is similar to me in as much as we are both very emotional & compassionate. She has planned for this day for so long & tried so hard to do the right thing for her family. Unlike so many faced with her situation she has survived all the heartache & retained the love & support of her family. Nicky has taught me so much about confidence & self belief. I hope & pray her day & her life is everything she wishes for.

This last week or so I have grown so much as a person. I have learnt so much more about humanity. I have a life to look forward to, thanks to my dear family & friends.

I have in the last two years refound my religion & faith in humanity. Fate has perhaps played its part but more than anything I believe with all my heart it was heavenly intervention that helped all my sisters, my dear Dad & my male friend. God loves everyone. I sometimes wonder if God has a gender but in reality it is inconsequential for all kinds of reason. Peace be with you.




alan said...

If I can ever in this lifetime become one tenth of the wonderful person you are I will have truly acomplished something with my life!

That you can give so much of yourself to others in spite of the pain they have caused you places you on such a higher plane of existence!


Anji said...

What a good friend you are in times of need. Isn't it wonderful that you are all having sucess with your painting at the same time!

LucyTolliday said...

And ((Hugs)) back to you.

In some I am only familiar with them through what they have writen online, you write so well about them all, I wish them all the best.

julia barber said...

Thanks for those kind words Debbie.
You are a true friend

Debbie K said...

Dear Alan, Anji, Lucy & Julia
Thank you so much for all your kind words.
I just feel so happy right now & so very lucky to have so many wonderful friends.
I feel like a surfer who has never been able to ride a wave before who suddenly finds himself going further than ever before.
I have always known who I was in my heart but my brain kept asking me can you actually live that life?
It is the most incredible feeling to know that I can.
God bless you all