My Dad's side of the family has been having a reunion every 2 or 3 years since the middle eighties. This summer they are having another reunion. I have decided not to go. My cousin in California, more-or-less the Patriarch at this time, has been gently talking to me about coming to the reunion.
This is my response to him:
I have -never- doubted your love and support. And it pains me to not be there. My Poppa knows my heart, [1 Samuel 16:7] and He knows I am pretty much who I have always been. And He knows that I love Him and I love my Brother, the One Who Loves me. It pains me that I am not able to give my family the opportunity to see me and know me spirit to spirit. But now is not the time. My children are not able to see my heart right now. And there are others, and we both know who they are, who wont ever see my heart or know my spirit. The latter, I am just sad for. Sad because the god they worship fits in a box they have defined. And my God, my Poppa, is bigger than any box they can imagine.
My children, though, I have decided not to push whatsoever. And it is hard. They are not ready to open their hearts and see with their Spirit that I am still their Dad, the Dad they have always known. I miss them terribly. I am very lonely for them.
Again, though, Poppa has provided. Poppa brought a young woman into my life who had been disowned by her parents. We became friends, then good friends. I told her once that I thought of her as a daughter. Within the month she started calling me "Momma." It was light and tongue-in-cheek at first, but Poppa knew our hearts and our needs. She is the Daughter-of-My-Heart, my Daughter-In-Love. We have gone through a lot together. I have told B and J of her because, no longer needing to keep my true self secret, I really don't like keeping any secrets and the subject of my Daughter-In-Love felt like a secret. But my adopted daughter takes nothing away from B or J. And I am Dad to them as I am Mom to her. Sue and Jodi met her when they met me as Shannon the first time. Someday I would like for her to come to the reunion, too, but it is in Poppa's hands. Oh! in the original picture that I sent you, she is to my right.
Again, thank you for your love and support and understanding.