Friday, December 20, 2013


Last Saturday was a snowstorm here in PA.  It wasn't as big as predicted, but still many events were cancelled.  Specifically, the potluck dinner that was being held by TCPA,  which I was going to attend.

I don't attend many TCPA events, as Harrisburg is a bit of a drive.  But Sandy Empanada was going to be there.  As was Ally, all the way from Richmond, Virginia.  I really wanted to see my friends; I even took off work to do so.  So, after a few quick phone calls and texts, Ally agreed to meet me in Baltimore so we could see Sandy and hang out.  I was to pick up Hayden in Harrisburg and head south.

And so I did.  I moved my appointment with Amanda Richards forward by an hour.  Snow began to fall as I drove to Allentown.  Amanda tried some different things with my makeup which I liked a lot. 

Ready to Roll!

As I drove to Harrisburg, the snow intensified.  I was an hour late getting Hayden.  And so I was an hour late getting to Baltimore.  I told Sandy I'd be there by three.  Hayden said it would be four.  Apparently, I operate on "Sophie Time" as I'm always late.  Even with starting an hour earlier, I was still late.  Story of my life.

Baltimore was only getting rain, and it rained hard.  Ally arrived at three and waited at Sandy's.  After stopping there and catching up for a bit, Hayden and Sandy went to fix a few things so Ally and I went to the nearby Angle Inn. 

With the beautiful Ally at the Angle Inn

There we were clocked and heard some rude comments by a group of fat older guys at a table.  One of them looked like a lemon with his bright yellow University of Michigan sweater and yellow Michigan hat.  Ally and I both wore sparkly Santa hats courtesy of Hayden.  The group remarked on them as well.  We smiled, toasted to Lisa, then to Sandy, and talked about here we are in our lives.  We had two drinks, then headed out into the rain to go back to Sandy's. 

I'm always short on funds.  But I wanted to give my friends Christmas gifts.  So for Sandy, I had a photo of our group at the Raven party printed and bought a frame. 

My Gift to Sandy, displayed.

For Hayden, a framed pic of me from the same event.  Hayden loves having pics of his friends.  For Ally, a gift card from Macys.  I know that none of them were much, but they were from my heart.

You see, as I mentioned before, I'm not a huge fan of Christmas.  I won't elaborate on the reasons: family, working retail and service industry, etc.  And it has nothing to do with Anger Management...

But the biggest part is that I HATE getting gifts (I Love giving them, though.)  I never feel worthy of them.  What did I do to deserve them?

Yes, I know deserve has little to do with it.  And I know it is my long-entrenched lack of self-worth kicking me in the butt.  I mean I appreciate that people think enough of me to get me gifts, and they ARE appreciated... well, I'll drop it.

Sandy LOVES Christmas.  She decorates the house beautifully and wraps her gifts with style. 

Lisa loved Christmas too.

This will be Sandy's first Christmas without her.  I can't even contemplate that level of pain, nor the level of strength required to live through it.

Sandy was ready for us.  Her house was beautifully decorated in red and gold to match the décor.  She decorated in a Butterfly motif as Lisa loved butterflies.  Butterflies were everywhere.  I was reminded of the part of The Hobbit where Bilbo climbs above the canopy of trees in Mirkwood and sees a sea of butterflies.

...he saw all round him a sea of dark green, ruffled here and there by the breeze; and there were everywhere hundreds of butterflies. I expect they were a kind of ‘purple emperor,’ a butterfly that loves the tops of oak-woods, but these were not purple at all, they were a dark dark velvety black without any markings to be seen.
He looked at the ‘black emperors’ for a long time, and enjoyed the feel of the breeze in his hair and on his face...

Sandy took great care in wrapping her gifts.  Each person had at least one plastic butterfly adorning a ribboned package.  It was a shame to have to disturb the beautiful work.  Hayden also brought beautifully wrapped gifts.  Ally didn't wrap anything.  She was generously paying for dinner that night.

 My friends were so generous to me; I felt inadequate.  I was overwhelmed by their generosity. 

Two years ago, Sandy gave Lisa a necklace bearing Lisa's name.  Lisa treasured it:  it was her first gift as a Woman. 

This year, Sandy gave me a necklace like Lisa's: a Sophie necklace.  Hanging from the script silver letters was a delicate butterfly.  It brought tears to my eyes.

Earlier I wrote that I'm no fan of Christmas.  But on this night, I felt the Christmas spirit.  I was happy with my friends.  And I desperately missed Lisa.  But while I felt her absence keenly, I was comforted that we, her friends, were there for Sandy.  And Sandy was there for us.

I changed for the night, and touched up my makeup.  I wore a black dress rather low cut.  It showed off my breasts very nicely.  When I wore the prosthetic, I loved looking down and seeing the breasts and cleavage, and thinking how wonderful it would be if they were truly my own.  Now I look down... and they ARE my own. 

In a conversation recently, my dear friend Ally spoke of the moment I will finally see Sophie in the mirror.  She spoke of seeing Ally in the mirror the first time.  Someday soon, I WILL see Sophie in the mirror with no gimmicks, no pads, no wig.  And someday, God willing, I will stand naked before a mirror and see a Woman physically as well as mentally.  Someday.

But I digress.  Must be that pesky Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come...

We went through the cold heavy rain to the Mount Vernon Stable for dinner again.  And it was wonderful.  The service was amazing as was the company.  I drove, so I had to be good.  I had one glass of wine at the restaurant, and later, one drink at our next destination:  Club Hippo.  There I sand karaoke again, but this time the song was new to me:  Santa Baby.  They didn't post the words, so sometimes I had to improvise.  A video was shot of this using an iPad I brought.  A very cute woman did this for me.  She kept turning the iPad while filming though, but that wasn't as annoying as my singing. 

Hayden, Sandy, Ally, Me at Mt. Vernon Stable

From there I went to the dance floor, then the group went to the nearby Grand Central.  This was a much bigger place, with a tin roof and magnificent wooden bar.  There I drank diet coke while Ally caught up with old friends and everyone else danced.  I sat quietly alone, but was fine with that.  I thought about Who and what I am.  What will the coming new year bring?  That's a topic for later, though.

I brought everyone back to Sandy's safely.  We sat up for a while talking, then we all retired for the night.

The next day I drove Hayden back to Baltimore, then I went to work.  Forty minutes late, and in drab.

It was a Wonderful weekend.  As much as I love TCPA, I think that the trip to Baltimore was better for me than the Pot Luck would've been.  The snow drove me south to my friends, and my friends lifted my spirits.  They showed me what I was missing all these Christmas seasons.

I mentioned how my family was a reason that the season was so bad for me.  Well, as I move forward with my life, and with my transition, I have learned that those I hold close to me are my family.  Lisa was my sister.  And my friends who Know and accept me as my True Self are those that will see me through this.  The road will be hard, but my New Family will be with me, as I will be there for them.

Within days after Christmas, I will travel south with Wife to Delaware.  I will read a letter to my parents that reveals to them that they actually have a daughter.  And then the Fallout.  Of course, I'll write about it.

Whether you celebrate or not, may the Season bring you Joy and Peace, and may 2014 bring you Magic.

My Parent's Daughter


  1. Glad you were able to have a wonderful weekend. Thanks for the good wishes of the season, and may you find the same in your life for 2014!


  2. I am so glad that things worked out the way they did for you. The Christmas season can be wonderful and should be wonderful as we celebrate the birth of Jesus but in the modern world the season also brings about great stress and it often entails expectations and aspirations that cause pain to people.
    It seems like you have already had one of our better Christmas seasons and that is outstanding.
    I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year. Good luck in all you do on your journey forward.