What happened next is what I had always secretly hoped for. We talked.
It felt like such a relief after years of forced silence on my part. I did not say everything, but I wanted to establish a foundation of understanding for the future. I opened up like never before.
We discussed my experiences growing up, what my reality was like, the church, single and prominent members (Sheri Dew, I am looking at you), priesthood leadership, if and when I should tell other family members as well as many other things.
One of the most significant things happened when my mom apologized for pressuring me to date, to marry and to give her grandchildren. She said she was just trying to be a good mom and the things she said were not meant to be malicious in any way. I replied that I knew they weren't malicious and that my coming out to them was not motivated by anger or intended to be malicious either.
I said I was done hiding and that if the occasion presented itself to use their best judgement to decide to tell anyone else. I asked that I be able to tell my sisters but aside from that, I trusted them.
Both of my parents expressed their sorrow for what I had been going through and how hard life had been living with the secret alone. They both were sad for the difficult path that lay before me, but were encouraged that I was finding more happiness.
Suddenly, there was a knock on the door and we were suddenly thrown back into the timeline rather than suspended in conversation as the door swung open. My older sister came in to grab something out of the room, not even noticing what had just taken place and left door open as she exited, only a slightly curious look on her face.
With that, the conversation was over. We could feel it. Not a tear had been shed. I gave them both a great big hug for being the amazing parents they are. In that moment, a hug was exactly what I needed. Accepting love from my parents, freely given.
I went back to the old decorative church pew I had been sitting on, aware of the ironic connection between me baring my soul and the origin of that seat. I retrieved the copy of "No More Goodbyes" I had intended to give them, but I took it with me as I exited the room. They didn't need it yet. I'll save it for a day when things become a bit more difficult in their eyes (like a relationship).
I bounded out of the room, with newfound happiness, energy and freedom I had not experienced ever before. I felt light as a feather, the burden shared. The knots and butterflies in my stomach were gone.
My older sister saw me leave the room with the book in my hand and asked what it was. Smiling to myself as I headed up the stairs to my room to process, I replied without looking back, "Just something I am reading."