The Eternal Sea….

Last night, as I do every night, I sat with my mom to watch a movie. With her condition, she can’t do most of the things that she enjoyed doing in the past. But last night’s movie turned out to be special. Not in and of itself, but by what happened to me later in the evening. The movie was “The Eternal Sea.” It’s about a man who was supposed to take over command of a ship during World War II but wound up losing a part of his leg from a battle at sea.

What normally turns out to be another officer discharged with a medical disability was upended because of his perseverance and determination. He was not one to be deterred nor let challenges stand in the way of his goals or his needs in life. He not only stayed in the Navy but became a decorated Admiral who was responsible for ushering in the use of jet aircraft on Navy carriers. At the end of his last sea duty, he was given two cherry jobs to choose from. He turned both down to do what he saw as his calling; helping handicapped Navy service personnel, and putting others before himself.

Later on, I watched a chat conversation between members in one of the associated CDH & TGH chatrooms. The subject of their chat was in relation to her spouse not being agreeable to her transition, and that was probably putting it mildly. I knew she had been facing this batter for many years, and was desperately trying to find some amicable and happy ground for things to move forward in some positive direction.


What do these two things have to do with each other? Everything. A classic “The song remains the same, only the words change,” analogy. The Admiral in the movie and my friend both had challenges, severe challenges thrust at them, and at a time and place not of their choosing. But neither did they give up. That path of not giving up, neither knowing whether or not they would succeed, has similarities. The Admiral may not have succeeded in his endeavor, but he continued and refused to give up his pursuit. And I suspect my friend will do the same. You see, the Navy was the Admiral’s world, and their wife was my friend’s world.

Do we sometimes feel as if life has given us a challenge that is too much to bear? Probably most of the time. But it is what also separates us from the others because we don’t just limp along until some other predator finishes the act. No, we take on the challenge by grabbing the horns, wrestling it this way and that because we have the confidence to know that in the end, one way or another, we will come out on top. Will it always be the outcome we first envisioned? Yes, and again, most likely not. But it shouldn’t deter us. It might be the second, or the tenth, or even the ten thousandth outcome. Still, we struggle on while maintaining confidence in our abilities.

Today may be the day your biggest challenge gets dumped in your lap, or maybe it has already, and you are trying to overcome it. It doesn’t matter so much if it’s physical, mental, financial, emotional, or social. What does matter is that we keep plugging along, trying this thing and that thing in our quest to overcome. And that is one bond we all share; our struggles with our eternal sea…


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Michelle Lawson

Well as for the physical 'me'; I had an orchiectomey in October of 2019 and my BA in Oct of 2021. Along with that, will be a change to all of my identification; name changes and gender markers. As for the rest of the 'what makes Michelle tick', come visit the Chat Rooms, and the Forums. As a Manager on TGH, I help to make sure your experiences here are safe, happy, supportive, and educational. You are here to grow and thrive, and we are here to nurture that growth. I look forward each day to helping to keep TGH the de facto standard for support in the transgender community. I look forward to chatting with you all, and reading through what you all post. And if you come across a transgender friendly or supportive place, drop me a line so we can figure out how to add it to our Local Places.

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JAKe Hatmacher
Active Member
JAKe Hatmacher(@middleground)
4 days ago

First, ice always liked the name Michelle. It reminds me of a girl in gradeschool.
Second, I enjoyed you article. I like how you can pull from and are inspired by what many let fly past them. You gave thought to the situation in the movie and how it relates to our situations.

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