Parts of it reveal what I was thinking "back in the day."
"Well, we've known each other (although never meeting in person) long enough that I can remember you telling me you were comfortable with living as both man and woman, switching as the opportunities and situations presented themselves. I also remember that I challenged you on that. While your late wife had questioned your being "man enough" to be a woman, my wife was telling me that it seemed all I wanted was to enjoy all the fun parts of being a girl. Although we've each accepted challenges in different ways, procrastination was not a friend for either of us. Not that we procrastinated purely for the sake of it. Our established relationships with our respective families, friends, and careers were of such importance to us, and the perceived risk of loss with either seemed daunting.
At some point, though, we came to our own realizations that we needed to accept ourselves before we could expect that anyone else would accept us as our true selves. For me, any acceptance, of and for my feminine-self, was dependent on a total honesty with myself and others. One can no longer call their behavior cross dressing when doing so is the only time when they feel happy and at ease. I remember you telling me about your comfort in switching back and forth between your masculine and feminine lives so well because I had reached a point, at that time, where I could no longer tolerate switching away from my feminine self. For me to present as a man had become nothing less than a necessary evil, and I was engaging in a reluctant cross dressing activity when doing so. In fact, I dubbed this as "cross duress-ing." I had come to not only accept the not-so-fun parts of being a girl, but I was also willing to give up any male privilege I had in order to do so. It was the way I felt, then, that was cause for my challenge to you, as I knew you were so close to that same realization, yourself.
It wasn't too long after that you began a new year with HRT! My old competitive male-self might have seen that as a challenge, but I really just couldn't have been happier for you. As time went on, I could see the effects of the HRT in you, and you became such a nice woman that it made me wonder how I ever could have liked you, at all, before! (only kidding, my dear). The truth is that we don't transition away from our male-selves, so much as we allow ourselves to integrate those parts of our pasts that fit our feminine-selves. As you said, it's a matter of perspective."
Thanks for all of the true perspective. I especially like the comment about giving up all of your male privilege when you transition from being a cross dresser to living as a transgender woman!