“Like a Prayer” was the first from Madonna’s 4th studio album, Like a Prayer. It was released on February 28, 1989. “I hear your voice; it’s like an angel sighing, I have no choice, I hear your voice, Feels like flying, I close my eyes, oh God I think I’m falling, Out of the sky, I close my eyes, Heaven help me.”
After my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary, I received another letter from Thaddeus. This time he extended an invitation for me to visit him in Seattle. He had just bought a new home, and he needed help painting a couple of bedrooms. I had never been to Seattle, and I really wanted to see Thaddeus, so we planned a trip for that November. I was very nervous about seeing him, but at the same time, I was ready to get out of North Carolina. I needed a break.
As my plane landed, I became very nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. As I got my luggage out of the overhead bin and walked towards the front of the plane, my stomach gathered in knots. When I walked around the corner and out of the gate, there stood Thaddeus. I almost didn’t recognize him. I pretended that his appearance didn’t affect me, but inside I was devastated. I gave him a tight hug and started talking about my flight and how much flying scared me, especially the cross-country flights.
That weekend Thaddeus and I spent our time together touring Seattle. We painted one of his bedrooms and watched movies on his new VHS tape player. Several times throughout the day Thaddeus had to lie down. It was mostly due to the new drug he was taking, AZT. At one point during my visit, we went to his clinic to get his prescription filled, and I was horrified when I walked in and saw all of the AIDS patients. To me, each one of these people looked like warriors and soldiers, brought in to fight a new war for all of humanity.
During my trip, I told Thaddeus about Titus and the fact that I had dated a man outside my race. Thaddeus made a couple of smart comments and even said at one point, “Well, maybe if I were black, you’d still have feelings for me!” I didn’t say anything because I knew what he was genuinely trying to say. Thaddeus was very lonely and scared. It broke my heart to see him this way. I wasn’t sure how to comfort him, or even if I could. I just sat and held space and sent healing energy his way.
Thaddeus’ family was Catholic, and he told me that they never accepted his homosexuality, much less his sickness, so he had a tough time with it. Thaddeus was powerful spiritually, so I knew he would be okay on that level. I wanted to stay with him for a few more days, but I had to return to my parents in North Carolina. I felt as though this would be the last time I would see Thaddeus, however, I would see him one more time.
Life is a mystery, everyone must stand alone
I hear you call my name
And it feels like home
When you call my name it’s like a little prayer
I’m down on my knees, I wanna take you there
In the midnight hour I can feel your power
Just like a prayer you know I’ll take you there
I hear your voice, it’s like an angel sighing
I have no choice, I hear your voice
Feels like flying
I close my eyes, oh God I think I’m falling
Out of the sky, I close my eyes
Heaven help me
Like a child you whisper softly to me
You’re in control just like a child
Now I’m dancing
It’s like a dream, no end and no beginning
You’re here with me, it’s like a dream
Let the choir sing
Just like a prayer, your voice can take me there
Just like a muse to me, you are a mystery
Just like a dream, you are not what you seem
Just like a prayer, no choice your voice can take me there
Just like a prayer, I’ll take you there
It’s like a dream to me