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.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments