In the month that I’ve been back in Minnesota, my sister adopted a pug, and I have almost completed 3 weeks at Hamline. My financial aid had to be sorted out, but I should be receiving it within 10 days, so my tuition will be paid and I can stop living off my mother.

My Dad and I talk on Sundays. It works for us. We sometimes talk more. But Sundays are our guaranteed talking days. He called me on Sunday to tell me to check the mail since he was sending me my car’s licence plate tabs, and he asked about school. He just called me from work since he’s on his lunch break, and he wanted to know what I’ve been learning about. He knows I’m in a journalism class and he asked me what I had have been learning, and that he had been listening to the news and he wanted to talk to me about it tonight when he gets home.

We don’t talk about my transition. I don’t feel we have to. I left the ball in his court. He knows I changed my name. He still calls me Trish. It doesn’t bother me. I know who I am. I’m comfortable in my skin and I don’t have the energy to fight about it.

This week for my poetry class I wrote a poem about being 4. I used to play T-ball and my Dad got me a mitt that was way too big for me. I can still fit it, and that’s almost 20 years ago. We used to go play catch in the back yard all the time. And I spent the end of summer feeling very sad about losing my Dad, and our relationship, but in a way I felt okay, because it was like all of the things he had been feeling for the last three years, he had dealt with it, but I just felt like if something happened to my Dad, I would hate knowing that this was how it ended for us.

In my African American literature course, we have been discussing how you can’t wear fighting gloves and heal your wounds at the same time. When trauma happens, it’s not the incident that becomes hard to deal with. That’s easy to talk about and it’s easy to say “this is what’s wrong” but you can’t move past that, especially when you don’t acknowledge that it’s the life you could be living if you deal with it, really deal with it.

I took off my fighting gloves. I might not have a deep relationship with my Dad. But I want him in my life and so I keep trying.