A Bringer of New Things

Musings on personal growth, books, motherhood, writing, and more. "Every hour is saved from that eternal silence, something more, a bringer of new things." – Tennyson

The True Story of My Brother (in 99 words)

"Jean Monet on his hobby horse" by Claude Monet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“Jean Monet on his hobby horse” by Claude Monet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I haven’t written about this here before because it’s so personal and yet at the same time not really my story to tell. But when I saw that this week’s Carrot Ranch 99-word flash fiction challenge was to write about a character representing diversity, I suddenly knew it was long past time to at least say something about the heartrending story that has been going on in my family’s life. There’s a lot more to the story, of course, but here is a 99-word nutshell.


This is the true story of my brother, who used to be my sister.

As a little girl, she squirmed and searched, uncomfortable in her own skin, never knowing who she was. “I wish I was a boy,” she said, as soon as she understood the difference. We shrugged. What else could be done?

Later, her life became endless hidden pain. Shadows. Secrets. Self-destruction. I can’t remember how many nights I spent afraid that this time, her attempt would be successful.

But a light finally dawned: she decided to just become a boy.

Now, he lives life openly, joyously.

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17 comments on “The True Story of My Brother (in 99 words)

  1. Charli Mills
    February 23, 2016

    Written so tenderly, yet with joyous power. This flash lives up to your motto to write words of truth, goodness and beauty.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sarrah J. Woods
      February 23, 2016

      Thank you so much, Charli! I can’t tell you what a compliment that is, to know that what I’ve written touches my hopes of writing “words of truth, goodness, and beauty.” I really appreciate your comment.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Annecdotist
    February 23, 2016

    This is a lovely flash, Sarrah, and a very sensitive portrayal of a topic that Iโ€™ve explored in my fiction. Very difficult to lose your sister but must be encouraging to see your brother finally able to thrive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarrah J. Woods
      February 23, 2016

      Thank you! Actually I haven’t given even one thought to the idea of losing a sister by the transition. I just want a sibling who is happy and healthy! “She” was all sadness and shame; but “he” is all happiness and vibrance now that his outer self matches his inner self! I couldn’t be more thrilled. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  3. plaguedparents
    February 23, 2016

    Truly a courageous tale. Some suggest we live our lives in search of our authentic selves. What a triumph for one to see it, recognize it and then fully embrace that self.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarrah J. Woods
      February 23, 2016

      So true! Thank you for the comment. I believe that when we have the courage to be our true selves, we inspire others to do the same.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Sherri
    February 23, 2016

    Thank you for this Sarrah…beautiful…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: Diversity Under the Rainbow « Carrot Ranch Communications

  6. Lisa Reiter
    February 24, 2016

    Had to pop over and say how beautiful and simply put. And how gender-identity free from any hang-up you must be. No hint of loss here, just relief that your sibling is happy now. A happy man ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sarrah J. Woods
      February 24, 2016

      Why thank you! You hit the nail on the head: what I feel is relief that my sibling is happy–and alive!

      Your flash was a nice twist on the topic.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. julespaige
    February 24, 2016

    Recently there was an article in a woman’s magazine about a family with a child who wanted to be a different gender than what they were born. This family was lucky to be able to have their child in a private school that respected the child’s choice. Not so easy even in the present.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sarrah J. Woods
      February 24, 2016

      I am always happy to hear about the progress of modern families in responding to issues such as this. I know a family with a transgender child under age 5. It makes my heart glad to see people helping other people (and especially parents helping their children) be their true, nonconforming selves.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Norah
    February 25, 2016

    How bravely you’ve opened your heart with this story and moved us from tears of fear to tears of joy. Thank you for sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. stuckinscared
    February 29, 2016

    Brave share. Beautiful flash. So much, in so few words. I’m so happy for your sibling…who is clearly loved/embraced for who he is. Lovely story.

    Like

  10. cliff letts
    February 29, 2016

    Your post outlines how uniformity is a condition of society. We are a myriad of pyramids so many parts and pieces. We look to create many shapes in the hope of finding our personal pattern. Something we can wear in any weather.

    Like

    • Sarrah J. Woods
      February 29, 2016

      Very true. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure.” But the more we courageously break through the walls of conformity, the freer we are to be our best, fullest, most creative, and most mature selves.

      Thanks for your comment!

      Like

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This entry was posted on February 19, 2016 by in Creative Writings and tagged , , .
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