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‘I am Thankful for...’
Readers share with Q-Notes their Thanksgiving reflections

We asked our readers to submit their Thanksgiving reflections on the theme “I am Thankful for….” The community responded and now we feature these heartwarming stories and thoughts.

“I am thankful for meeting that special someone who accepts me for who I am and supports my commitment to animal rescue. I am thankful for finally finding that special person with whom I can build a future. I love you, Maria.”

Jen, York, S.C.
“I am thankful for each day the Lord blesses me with; for a God who loves me as He made me; for a wonderful, loving, handsome and tender-spirited partner of nine years; for the unconditional love of family — both biological and acquired; for my four-legged children who help make the stresses of the work day fade away with a simple wag of a tail; for a comfortable home and God’s provision to have it; and for the everyday miracles that can be seen when we pause to look.”

Robert Mlodzik, Holly Springs, N.C.
“I am most thankful for being present at the birth of three beautiful and extraordinary children. Though I did not carry them in my body for nine months as my partner did, they are as much a part of my heart as if they were a part of me. Witnessing their birth, holding them in those first few moments and watching my partner’s grace and strength was the most amazing gift I have ever been given in life. “

P. Paulsen, Clayton, N.C.
“A year ago I started receiving attention via the internet from a 24-year-old man who played in a punk band who lived in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. With many second and third thoughts at age 55, I decided to pursue it. I found not only a partner, but a friend. It has worked so well that he met my family recently, including my elderly mother who now ends every phone conversation with ‘Tell Dave hello.’ My family is a liberal one that regards George Bush as a war criminal, but I was not sure how they would accept a relationship between their very middle-aged son (now 56) and a youthful Canadian who enjoys punk. My family loves me and wants me to be happy with someone who cares for me as I care for him. Now Dave is part of the family.”

Ed Tilley, Wilmington, N.C.
“I am thankful for…The laughter that has wrapped its arms around me and the tears shed for days long passed; The growth, spirit and unyielding strength to persevere; The eyes and hands of mercy laid upon me in my darkest moments; The Universe, blessing each day and filling each moment with a warm sense of knowledge and a craving to learn; My mother, though departed from this great earth, for without her giving me life and sharing her’s these unearthly treasures would not have been possible.”

Andrea C., Charlotte, N.C.
“I am thankful for the love of my life…I could say one thing or a million…and still be as grateful…those who know…understand.”

Kathy J. Barber, Jacksonville, N.C.
“I am incredibly thankful for my peace of mind…With spiritual and clinical support, I’ve been able to address past hurts that I’d allowed to fester for far too long. It is amazing the effect that childhood experiences and our parental relationships have on our adulthood. Once I allowed myself to remember and address the pain that I’d bottled up or tucked away, I experienced emancipation — from myself. I had so much more to offer in relationships, in community, in my career, in my spiritual walk. The prison I’d created for myself limited my mobility. Today, I feel truly free & uninhibited! These virtues are foreign to me but they feel really good…Today, I approach life without an expectation of disappointment…Now I have the sense to summon fruition, prosperity, love, faith, peace and unity and that’s exactly what is being manifested. I am so excited about what new blessings and what new opportunities lie around the corner. Lately, it seems I’m constantly in a state of thanksgiving.”

Jermaine Nakia Lee, Charlotte, N.C.
“I am thankful for a cancer-free year…and life!”

Haze, Charleston, S.C.
“I am thankful for my 5-year-old son, Santiago…The smile on my son’s face when he first wakes up in the morning and sees his mommy. The way he says ‘mommy’ when he feels love for me, tries to manipulate me or simply hurts himself and needs consoling. That I’m the most precious person in his life. The little messages that he leaves on my cell phone when I’m working just to tell me he misses me. The color of his beautiful brown skin, almond shaped eyes and black, black hair. The way he says, ‘I’m so very sorry’ when he makes a mess. When I tell him that I love him more than the whole world, he replies by putting one finger up in the sky, ‘I love you more than the one world,’ with the emphasis on one as if somehow, he’s aware that there are other worlds out there. When I go down the list of all the people that love him when he’s feeling sad or lonely, he politely interrupts, ‘okay, okay, I get it!’ When he insists on taking care of me when I’m sick by sending me to ‘nap time’ only to wake me up every five minutes or so to see if I’m okay. When he brings me a cup of water every time I cry and says, ‘Don’t be sad mommy, it’s okay.’ His contagious belly laugh. The fact that he’s so sensitive and loving to everyone. That he’s my angel and that he chose to be with me. Thank you God, for such a wonderful gift.”

Nicole Holder, Asheville, N.C.
“I am thankful for Patrick, my partner of 23 years, our home and cats. I have a job that I love and co-workers that are extremely supportive (even though the company is way behind the times). I have a family that loves and accepts us (And, did I mention the support from the adult choir at St. Peter’s?). Everyday that I work in the hospital, I am more and more thankful for my health and peace of mind. I have been so blessed in this world.”

Rodney P. Currin, Mount Holly, N.C.
“I’m thankful for many things in life, especially the opportunity of meeting so many people and friends acquired over the years, entertaining and serving behind the bar. It seems like yesterday, on Halloween night in 1969, my life as an entertainer began at Oleen’s. There I gained lifelong friendships, some lasting more than 38 years. My journey continues at Scorpio’s and Chasers and other bars where I’ve loved and shared precious moments. Along the way I’ve remained grateful to have shared cherished friendships with Toni Lenoir, Bam Ban Talour and Tracy Morgan. Finally, thanks to all with whom I have performed and worked and for sharing your love and friendship, as well.”

Boom Boom Latour (Rick Carter), Charlotte, N.C.
The Q-Notes staff is thankful for all our readers, those who contribute to the paper and those who work with us in making this great news and commentary voice for the LGBT community possible throughout North and South Carolina. As we approach Thanksgiving (mmmm, yummy), we’ll remember all the friends we’ve made and will make in the months and years to come. Thanks.

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