Forty-six years ago when Jake was born, our thoughts of a future for him included all the traditional roles of happy wife and mother and all that entailed in 1970. In those days it was expected that women wear dresses to work and perform traditional jobs such as nursing, teaching, or clerical work. (We still feel Jane would have been a great kindergarten teacher. Jake is now an accountant.)
When I look at Jake now, I see a very determined young man. He is evolving bravely and unimaginably, openly changing day to day, comfortable with his spiritual search for God and his real self. I would not be able to go through all he has gone through to find his true self.
I can see how much I have evolved since the day in 1970 Jake was born. I have grown from an unhealthy acceptance of what I was told, to being a seeker of truth. I can see that all things work together for good, that evolution is the key to everything. There is a universe I had no idea existed then. There are stars, planets, ideas and freedoms I never imagined then. People I have met I no longer see as good or bad, right or wrong. There is an innate direction of love and goodness in all cultures and peoples.
Sometimes I am still more dualistic than I think I should be. I have met people in many places who do not look, act or think like me. I no longer look, act or think like I did in 1970. I can see that my ideas of gender and roles have changed radically. There is no right or wrong way to be except to keep growing and going. Knowing a little about growth and evolution helps me to see that the only wrong thing I can do is stop growing and learning and loving. Jake has given me a push toward learning more about love and life.
*Roger and Kitty were Maryknoll Affiliates, then Maryknoll Lay Missioners in Tanzania and are now back to being Affiliates, regularly inspiring us with ideas that stretch our minds, books we’ve got to read, organizations that help us grow, and activities and people that bring us joy.