Annie and James Rushden were man and wife, until James revealed he was transsexual. Annie writes about the experience of falling in love all over again with her partner Claire. Same soul, different gift wrap.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It snowed.

I woke up to lovely gift this morning. It snowed, and it's enough to leave snow on the ground and the car. Gives the world kind of a calming, peaceful look this morning. I think I needed it.

We're hanging in there. I feel like I'm finally kicking the pneumonia, and getting to a solid, grounded place in which I can support Claire this week.

Primal scream therapy in your car on a deserted stretch of road is amazing.

I talked to my mom, a breast cancer survivor, for 20 minutes Monday night, and she kicked me into fighting and staying strong.

Practicing "walking meditation" is starting to come back under my control. I can't quite get myself to believe my normal mantra learned from Thich Nhat Hahn. I have changed the last line to be "This is the only moment".

Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment,
I know this is a wonderful moment!

I'd like to thank everyone that has loaded us down with thoughts and prayers. It's making a difference knowing we're not alone as we play this awful waiting game.



Friday, February 22, 2008

And the world comes tumbling down.

I worked myself into exhaustion a week ago, while I had the flu. Worked around the clock on a project to the point where I gave myself pneumonia. Now I'm glad I had it.

Yesterday, I took Claire in because she's been sick too. Having bacterial pneumonia, I wanted to make sure they she didn't get it while down with the flu. The doctor took a routine chest x-ray, and my world has been upended since that moment.

See, there was something on the x-ray. Not pneumonia, but a mass in the upper lobe of her right lung. One that looks pretty scary. The doctor sent the film to a radiologist, and called last night to tell us that the radiologist said it looked like a mass that needs an immediate CT scan.

Apparently the shoulder pain that the Savannah orthopedic surgeon dismissed as cubital tunnel syndrome might have been this.

We were supposed to have a CT scan today. However, between Claire being pretty ill with the flu, having the shock of this hit us, and the fact that she would need an iodine injection with a severe anxiety issue about needles made us postpone it.

So, until Friday, we're in the dark. All alone with this specter over our heads.

We've called my folks, and told our best friends. We've both cried, and tried to be brave. The next few days will be really hard, and I know it.

I still have hope in my heart that Friday's CT Scan will leave us walking away breathing a sigh of relief that it was scar tissue, or other anomoly.

All I know right now is that I'm scared, and she's scared. Prayers, good thoughts, etc. are welcome. We'll make it through this; I know we will.

In the meantime, Claire insists that this will be a piece of cake to get through, since she has already survived 36 years stuck in the wrong body.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Valentine's Card to my Claire


This is the first Valentine's Day since you started living full time in your proper gender.

I look back on everything we've gone through and am amazed at so many things.

I am amazed at the depths to which I've seen you plunge into depression, and the highs I've seen you reach now that you are battling all those demons that plagued you all your life.

I am amazed at the openness with which my family received your news, and the embrace they've drawn you into since they learned they had a new daughter instead of a son.

I am amazed at how we've coped, and loved, and adapted, and grown into better people, both of us.

I am amazed at the physical changes brought on by hormone therapy. You're beautiful, and you really certainly don't look like the James I met 7 years ago.

I am amazed at how smooth a transition it was to uproot ourselves and move to Atlanta, and how friendly Atlanta is.

But mostly...

I am amazed at how strong our love is, and how simply overwhelming it is to me. I think of you always, in the back of my mind while I work, play, make jewelry, and even sleep. Random thoughts of you will filter into my head, and I can't suppress the little smile that makes me actually feel my eyes twinkle.

I love you with all my heart and soul. Will you be my Valentine?


Your Annie.