I Often Wonder If My Papa Will Recognize Me In Heaven
Start writing a post
Life Stages

I Often Wonder If My Papa Will Recognize Me In Heaven

My papa passed away at a young age and I sometimes feel guilty for transitioning without him physically knowing.

I Often Wonder If My Papa Will Recognize Me In Heaven

The purpose of this article isn't to talk about his passing (entirely), but to connect with anyone else that may be transitioning and wondering if their loved ones will recognize them too as the opposite "gender" or even accept them transitioning. My Papa means so much to him and for me not to know his thoughts about me transitioning, it feels secretive and I don't like it. I feel sadness and I still grieve over his loss. I often think "is he proud of me?", "would he accept me as Ian?", "will he recognize me this way?", and "does he know I think these things?".

A smile that gets you every time.

My Papa was my best friend. Unfortunately, he passed away at a young age, thus he didn't get a chance to see me physically change throughout the years. He never physically got to see me graduate high school or college nor did he get to see me play sports. He missed a lot, but I do say physically because I do believe he is watching over me. I survived two car accidents, one in which I was hit head on and another within six months of the first one, I flipped into the woods approximately six times at a speed above 80 miles an hour. One could say I am lucky, but I continue to think he was watching over me and still is.

Every year around the same time (the month of May) I feel even closer to him as he passed away Memorial Day weekend. It is actually ironic because he was a Veteran and everything happens for a reason, but I often feel guilty for his passing. He was really sick. Went through hell and back. I remember he showed up to my house a week early thinking it was my birthday. Surprised me more or less, but my family and I didn't think anything of it until he started acting strange. He had a stroke, heart attack, and it didn't get easier.

The night he died, I remember my dad asking me to go visit him, but because I was in a mood, I chose not to. And that night, he died. That night, I also threw away flowers. I remember feeling sadness after throwing away the flowers and I often think I told myself "the day I throw these away are the day, he dies" and consequently, he died within the same time period of me throwing them away. Whether this is something my mind made up because I feel guilty for not seeing him the night of his passing or whether this actually occurred, I am unsure, but there isn't a day I don't think about him. My true hero.

The OG Hodges family.

As he never really got a chance to know me as Erin, nor Arin, and now as Ian. I don't know his thoughts about the LGBTQ+ community, but I would hope he would love me regardless. I'm not the same individual with the dresses, make-up, and long brown hair, rather I am an individual with the suits, the light facial hair, and short brown hair. Family has always been important to me and it is why I often hesitate talking to my own dad about me transitioning because he is a lot like his dad (my Papa). I do not want to disappoint my family, nor go through life without their support. However, some of my family has chosen to part ways due to my decision making. As far as my Papa, he is a Southern man from Mt. Airy, NC so there are a lot of thoughts whether he would be supportive of me and my decisions, but I can only hope that when I go to Heaven, he will welcome me with open arms.

No one in my family understood the connection my Papa and I had, but every time I think about him, I smile. I remember his laugh and how he held his stomach like Santa because he had a beer belly, the way he blew his nose on an old-fashioned handkerchief, and the way his hugs felt. I was only twelve or thirteen when he passed, but he has always felt close to me. He still does.

Papa if you're watching over me and are able to see this article, just know these things: I love you more than I can put into words, I miss you uncontrollably, and thank you for keeping me safe.


Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

23 Pandemic-Approved Date Ideas That'll Send Sparks Flying From Six Feet Apart

There's a safe way to date right now and yes, it includes masks.


While some people would rather opt out of dating altogether during the pandemic so they don't have to wear a mask on a first date, others are choosing to listen to both guidelines and their heart in order to find love during the time of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Should you be one of the individuals welcoming romance right now, there are pandemic-approved dates you can go on that still adhere to guidelines (and yes, you'll have to wear a mask).

Keep Reading... Show less
Tasia Sli

Tasia Sli and Anna Yang met in quintessential New York fashion at a chic rooftop event, nurturing business school grad Anna gravitating towards bubbly extrovert Tasia.

Keep Reading... Show less

In our patriarchal society, men hide from their feelings, but toxic masculinity is literally killing men. They swallow the pain and move on so that they can look, feel, and act "tough."

But, strength is derived from asking for help and voicing your struggle and, trust me, working on your mental health is one hell of a struggle. The real way to "man up" is to acknowledge the downfalls in unjust societal norms. Mental health problems do not mean that a man is weak, they are neurologically-based disorders that require professional treatment.

Keep Reading... Show less

Two of my favorite things in life are reading and books. Obviously, they go hand-in-hand. In my life, I've realized that there is nothing better than learning about the current world or getting fully immersed in another world. Reading can inspire, teach, and entertain you.

For me, the feeling of opening a book and smelling that fresh book smell can't compete with anything else.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Sorry, But 'I Don’t Care About Politics' Is Not A Valid Excuse For NOT Voting

The younger generation of voters is so crucial to the upcoming election because our vote is going to shape the world that we are about to enter as adults.


When I ask my friends if they are voting this term most of them respond with "no" followed by an explanation of "I don't care enough," "It doesn't affect me," or "I don't keep up with politics," etc. I get it, as a college student I know that there are many other things to be concerned about like school, relationships, work, and friends. I also understand that keeping up with politics can seem like trying to keep up with an over-exaggerated reality show that has way too many seasons. Not to mention most news stations and websites are biased so it's hard to decipher if what you hear is true or fake.

However, despite all of this annoyance, as the next generation of Americans, we have to remember that we owe it to ourselves, our families, and to our futures to care.

Keep Reading... Show less

Expecting mother and wife to singer/songwriter John Legend may have accidentally slipped up and revealed the gender of her and Legend's third baby today on her Instagram story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Anna Hernández-Buces

"Do you have big parties on Cinco de Mayo?"

Keep Reading... Show less

20 Books About Latin And Hispanic Heritage Absolutely Everyone Should Have On Their Bookshelf

Any ally of the community needs to be reading these incredible reads.


I go through phases when it comes to what I like to read. I am typically reading two books at any given time: one serious nonfiction and one escapist fiction novel to have on hand and open up depending on my mood.

What remains consistent, however, amongst most of my fellow bibliophiles is a desire to try new and different authors and genres. I, as an Indian woman, have been partial to reading books written by fellow Indian and Desi writers since I first got a library card.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Asked 46 Women What They Thought About The Term 'Plus-Size', And Here's What They Had To Say

It's 2020, where change is inevitable and norms are not only questioned, but challenged.


We live in a world where it's become customary to push boundaries, break rules, and question standards upheld by society. Though try as we might, some of these standards are harder to conquer than others — body image is one of the top contenders.

For years, the body positivity movement has pushed for the acceptance of all marginalized body types not represented or celebrated in the media. Recently, we've gotten better at appreciating and accepting all body types, but one thing that's still lingering is the stigma of body image in the fashion industry — more specifically, the term "plus-size."

Keep Reading... Show less

Many popular TV shows are holding off premiers until spring, so most people are relying on their television subscriptions to get them through a socially distant fall semester.

Thankfully, Netflix was busy filming this past year because there is a ton of new original content coming in the near future. From mysteries to romances, here are some of the best new shows you have to check out this year:

Keep Reading... Show less

Taylor Swift Sang 'betty' At The ACMs And It Was The Perfect First Live 'folklore' Performance

I guarantee that Inez is spreading rumors about how fire this performance was.


The Academy of Country Music Awards were last night and the performances were wonderful, but Taylor Swift's live version of "betty" from her newest album "folklore" really took the cake for me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

9 Reasons I Unfollowed All The Fitness Influencers On My Instagram Feed

I don't need to feel bad about myself because of who I follow on social media.


Throughout quarantine, something that a lot of us picked up on was working out. With all the free time, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to work on that "dream bod" you've been wanting for years, or to just feel good about yourself.

A common way to stay motivated and keep yourself on-task is to follow fitness influencers on various platforms. For some people, yes, this can be a healthy and helpful way to keep your drive. In other cases, however, this can do more harm than good.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Ultimate Guide To Being A Latinx And Hispanic Community Ally

Educate and celebrate their culture to lift the community up.


It's well known that the Gen-Z and millennial generations are more passionate about social justice and conscious about their decisions as consumers as any other generation to come before us.

For these generations, making mindful decisions about where we like to allocate our money, who we choose to follow on Instagram, and even the books we like to read are extremely important to us. With the rise of the digital age, we are constantly consuming media and content, and so there's no longer an excuse for being uneducated if we want to be educated on a wide range of cultures.

Keep Reading... Show less

With fall 2020 already around the corner, it's time to bring out the flannels, thermals, button-ups, and sweaters that have remained untouched for almost a year. Fall 2020 is all about individuality and authenticity, so style these clothing items in whichever way you please.

That being said, I also included a few styling tips for each item to help you get some inspiration and create a mental lookbook. The following fifteen sweaters range from neutral, color block, stripes, cable knit, cashmere, cardigans, and more.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments