We all have many things to be thankful for but every Thanksgiving (and many times over the year) I am most grateful for people who have added to my life and are no more with my physically--I know they are my Guardian Angels looking over my shoulder every day of the year--though YOU may not know them they are a part of my family and I would like to share them with you. During the 80s I lost many friends due to AIDS but now as I am old I am losing many of them to natural causes from growing old.
Until the end BJ fought to stay alive but it wasn't enough. I only knew her for a very short time over the years if I totaled them up but once you met her you never forgot her.
Then there was Robert who knew he would live for a very long time but it wasn't long enough. I've written about him over the years and he and James who were together for over 50 years. We were close friends for over 30 years.
I miss Layde. She was fun and a great supporter of mine not to mention donating many hours to editing my books and, many times, my thoughts. We met in Tennessee and a few years later she moved to Dallas with her sister Nina and Nina's partner Jean. She was always there for me with a joke or a shoulder to cry on.
Due to age many people here at Gateway have died. we lost Emily and Barbara and we lost we lost Carmen and Liz, both to cancer. Liz was an outgoing artist who volunteered every Saturday giving walking tours of the Bonnet House, an historical landmark in Fort Lauderdale. She did not suffer fools gladly and wasn't shy about telling them off.
I have never seen a family matriarch as loved by her family as Carmen was and each child, both daughters and sons, were more beautiful, more handsome than the other. They were polite, well mannered and respected all adults even as they were adults themselves. Her grandson, a strapping 6 feet, 200 pound 13 year old, loved her so much he couldn't but help show her every time he was near. She was caring, loving, positive and optimistic to all her family, friends and neighbors and had a wicked sense of humor.
They may just be names to you but along with many others they bring a smile and warmth to me whenever I think of them and I often do. I hope Ladye, BJ, Liz, Robert and Carmen get to say hello to:
Albyn (heart attack), Flo (cancer), Joe (stroke), Ginny (cancer), Ronnie (heart attack) Bob B. (heart attack), John C. (AIDS), Tom L. (AIDS), Ray B. (heart attack), Buddy (AIDS), Michael Mc (AIDS), Joe (heart attack) Bob/Dr K (heart attack), Vinnie (heart attack) Robert I. (phenomena)--just a few of my Guardian Angels!!!!
Unless I am old, and being forgetful, or not wanting to remember, I don't recall losing anyone this year and hope I don't/won't.
Here's also a piece of my heart for all those young people in their teens who have suffered and died from AIDS because their parents and adults don't care about 'kids' nor do they want the government to spend money on helping them. I miss, and remember, each one of you. And to those who have had their life cut short whether they were teens or preyed on by others as they have aged you are missed.