The recycled Amazon shipping box with its handwritten label was late … and exactly on time.
Some week in December, when planes, trucks, car trunks, tree trunks, and post office boxes were glutted with brown cardboard packages, one made its way to New Castle, DE. Perhaps it managed to make it to my apartment complex, but if it did, its arrival was unannounced and it sat alone while all the other boxes around it were claimed with smiles of Christmas expectation. Eventually, too much time passed and the package was stamped
“Unclaimed — Return to Sender.”
The Christmas and New Year’s Holiday passed before the package returned to its origin, two women, happily married, intent on sharing their joy with one whom they barely knew but cared for in regular emails and warm thoughts.
An email was sent, inquiring if perhaps I had seen the gift, but had returned it unopened.
“No!” I replied.
I explained that sometimes packages take circuitous routes and end up in the apartment complex office. If residents are unaware of their arrival, it would be easy for them to remain unclaimed. Truthfully, these packages are often left on our porches. Why this particular one was not — I have no answer. Perhaps it never even made it this far. No matter, really, because its boomerang created a the ideal delay for a perfectly-timed arrival.
Karin and Deb were pleased with the news and sent the package one more time, with the correct address and a notice to me of its coming arrival. I found it in my mailbox, today.
Today is significant.
Today is the first full day that I have been single in over 37 years, the day previous having had a 700-mile distant judge legally grant my divorce as final.
37 years is a very long time to be married and then decide to end it. Although the more typical relationship killer of growing apart because of poor communication was central to the slow death of our relationship, my maturing self-awareness of being transgender certainly added tension. Ending long relationships is always difficult, no matter how much one tries to minimize the pain. Guilt, a sense of failure, a sense of abandoning partner and promises are all soul-payment into the legal process.
Nevertheless, I am convinced that the freedom from my marriage will allow me to invest more fully in my vision of promoting all things positive about being transgender. I am literally “on a mission from God.”
One of the more fascinating things about being transgender is the eclectic nature of both our internal gender identity and our tribe as a whole. Not a two of us are the same. Some of us may be ‘kind of alike,’ but I’ve not yet met my trans-twin-sister. I hope that she is out there. I’d love to meet her.
Which brings me back to the box.
There was no inner box wrapped with festive paper and frilly bows. It was simply a box — but within it was the most curious of treasures:
The box contained an eclectic mix of everyday nothings that have little monetary value, but were infused with love and compassion.
There were candies and treats and little things sweet,
There were pictures and notes and bottles and quotes,
a Peace Van and a cat, and a warm, Carhartt cap!
Such is the heart of a transgender person — a simple cardboard box, hand-labeled with a name we choose, and filled with eclectic treasures. Those that love us know this, whether or not they fully understand it.
God (or that which is Divine, as your spirit defines such things) knows this too. It is through the smallest of us, and often within the smallest gestures, that the most grand and holy purposes are accomplished.
Today, I am thankful for the timing of a dear gift from Karin and Deb, two precious friends who evidently enlisted an even wider tribe of caring people to send me a perfectly timed gift.
It is a Christmas gift, perfectly timed to arrive on the first day of the newest chapter in my life.
“God bless us, everyone.”