this post actually has nothing to do with ketchup, more so with the task of catching my readers up. it's been a while since i've last written - my apologies, my life has seemed more chaotic in the past month than it has been in a while. i was sick with a bad flu for about two weeks and still feel like i haven't fully gained my strength back. right after my flu symptoms subsided, my grandmother passed away quite suddenly. i wasn't very close to her for most of my life, though after coming out to her this summer, i was able to reconnect with her. we corresponded via snail mail for about four months before her passing. while i feel saddened by her passing, i feel joy in the fact that i listened to myself, came out to her and thus was able to reconnect with her. for me it has been amazing to have my two grandmothers react so incredibly well to my coming out - they have reacted better than anyone in my family, even my immediate family. while the understanding of my situation may not be there, i know that both of my grandmothers still love/loved me for me.
i was quite anxious about attending my grandmother's funeral because i had not seen my father's side of the family since coming out to then. on top of this i only heard from one cousin when i did come out to then last november, so i was unsure of how my family would act towards me. upon arriving at the funeral home my brother and i met one of my dad's cousins in the parking lot. she remembered my brother right away, but of course not me. so i introduced myself and her response was: "i'm sorry i don't understand the connection...". she walked away very confused. when we entered the funeral home she came up to us and stated again that she was confused and didn't understand the connection, whereupon my aunt came up and said: "this is lucas [last name], nathan's brother and larry's son, he was formally [female name]...". this woman, my dad's cousin, actually reacted very well - like this was a fact, like that was that and there was nothing more to it, nothing to dispute, nothing to think badly of. i was really surprised my aunt had advocated for me - i really had no idea what to say to my dad's cousin, i've never encountered such a direct situation before! afterwards, my aunt starting crying and apologized she never responded to my coming out letter - she said she didn't know what to say. she continued that my grandmother had actually yelled at her for not saying anything to me! and then she welcomed me to the family. i was shocked that she had actually said something to me and that my grandmother had yelled at her! what an amazing grandmother! i suppose death puts many things in perspective.
an amusing side-story to this whole story was that my brother and i stayed together at my other grandmother's apartment during the funeral. i suppose no one ever bothered to show my brother how to tie a tie (really dad?!). so i, the younger brother, the brother who just learned how to tie a tie two years ago, was the one who tied my brother's tie the entire time! i asked my dad about this (as my brother is almost 30!) and he chalked it up to bad motor skills - highly doubtful! i attempted to teach him how to do it himself, but time constraints required me to actually tie it for him.
another side-story was that my brother and i were asked to be pallbearers (one who carries the casket - directly to the cemetery or to and from the hearse). i wasn't surprised because when my grandfather had passed away several years ago, he had asked all of his grandchildren to be pallbearers - so i had assumed that this was the case this time. this was clearly not the case this time - it was in fact only men (my brother, my male cousins and my uncles). i'm unsure if the pallbearer is a traditionally male role. i was actually very surprised - i certainly hit the ground running with my family. this is true validation for my transition from my family.
so, that's that for now.