This Thanksgiving week has been one of many fun and loving reunions that covered some 34 years in the making. Three old friends meet again in a different state of the nation, but also a new state of being older, wiser, more mature and settled in our adult lives, and joyous and elated to see each other again after 20 years. As i headed towards the luggage carousel a voice to the woman I could not yet see said, "There he is!" I turned and there they were. I don't know if I lept over the crowd, but the next thing I knew we were in a group hug and great sighs of relief - back together again. As I gathered my luggage the flood gate of years past and the memories painted a great mosaic of our lives - their children, their grandchildren, and even their great grandchildren - and we knodded in agreement all has been well.
A black lesbian couple - both native Washingtonians - I met at the First National Gay and Lesbian March on Washington in 1979. Introduced through a mutual friend, I remember sitting at their kitchen table and discussing the weekend's First Gay and Lesbian People of Color Conference at Howard University's Howard Hotel, a week that steeled my resolve to be a very out Black man, and the verve to become an effective part of the much larger people of color gay movement.
After an amazingly powerful and motivating two-week stay in Washington, as my flight took off from the then National airport and returning to San Francissy I knew then I would return. The next day, I stopped at one of my favorite card shops and a card stood out as I entered - an exact drawing of my new found friends' kitchen, it was amazing how the picture's cabinets, table, chairs, even a picture on the wall were the same - one of those visions that helped me make up my mind to relocate to my black gay mecca of Washington, DC. I sent them that card and wrote I would be relocating to Washington, DC within a month...November 4, 1979, the day of the Iranian Hostage Event, I landed in Washington, DC to continue this 34 year journey that continues to unfold in wonder and amazement.
Those moments in time though many decades ago have been dredged up and caused us to cry for those we lost to HIV, breast cancer, contacts lost for whatever reason, and of course the inevitable gleaning of our bodies through natural death, the very happy memories brought us many hours of laughter and good cheer, and that is what Thanksgiving can be and often is to members of our clan/community - sharing the/our love. I thank our Creator for this blessing. I remind us all, the young, the not so young and the growing yet older, in the final tally of our lives it will not be the physical trappings that will bring us our greatest joy because you can't take those physical things with you no matter how much you may admire, desire or love them. I believe we are calmed and soothed by our happy moments in this life and will honor them in the next life.
We must remember each of us has to grab them as they arise in our day-to-day lives - we only come this way once and we have to live our lives in appreciation for the teaching moments and the good times. May you have a blessed happy holiday season.