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A Thanksgiving tribute to my friends

By Joe PattersonPublished 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 6 min read
Photo by Surface on Unsplash

During this season of Thanksgiving I wanted to take the time to express how thankful I am for my chosen family, my best friends. My friends have played a big role in my development of being an even halfway decent person and for that I have to express how grateful I am for them.


Torron and Me.

“True friendship withstands all obstacles; especially distance and time. Haven't seen this guy since middle school and today we picked up exactly where we left off. Crazy to think we were only in school for one year together (3rd grade) and still managed to stay in contact. That's real!” - Torron Williams.

I first met my best friend Torron Williams in the beginning of my third grade school year at Seawell Elementary School in August of 2001. I remember the exact day that our friendship began, it was August 27, 2001, just two days after the singer Aaliyah died tragically in her plane crash. Everyone who was shocked. I learned that day sitting across from Torron that like me, he was a big fan of Aaliyah as well. Interestingly enough, a lot of craziness was unfolding in the world during the time that me and Torron became friends including: Aaliyah’s death, the 9/11 attacks, following the anthrax time, it really was a defining time. Me and Torron both had a shared love for music, especially Hip Hop. After realizing I could rap and he could beatbox we became a duo like DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.

We were big on rapping in front of the whole class often and we really felt like stars doing it. Of course our brotherly bond went beyond the classroom. My mom got to know his mom and became friendly with each other. We spent a lot of time hanging at each other’s houses playing video games like Grand Theft Auto, ordering pizza and watching horror movies. What’s funny is me and Torron only had class together for a year, but we stayed right around the corner from each other so there was never any distance between us. Even when life put us in different places our bond remained. No matter how long we went without talking we always pick right back up where we left off.

When my mother died when I was 17 I didn’t know what to think or what I should do, so I just decided to call Torron and have a venting session. He couldn’t believe the news when I broke it to him, nevertheless he gave me that brotherly comfort and support that I knew he would. I never had any biological brothers growing up, but Torron has always been just as good as, if not more.


Bien and Me.

Continue this friendship, after the semester ends. I don’t know about you but I don't do "semester friend then strangers afterwards" - Bien Krajan.

I met my close friend Bien Krajan in August of 2014 while I was attending college at Guilford Tech in Jamestown, North Carolina. We became friends after being grouped together for a semester long project in our Sociology of the family class. During that time of working together we eventually developed a close friendship. We started hanging out after class and began meeting up often to talk about life and what we were dealing with. Bien has Vietnamese in her blood and she was always taking me to Vietnamese restaurants and putting me on to the food, this became a regular thing for us. We both are big fans of the movie Mulan and ended up giving each other nicknames that were derived from the characters in the movie: Fazoo and Amazon. During the week one of my aunts who I was close with was on her deathbed Bien brought me my favorite Vietnamese sandwich one morning just to cheer me up and it really did warm my heart.

Bien has never been afraid to give me the truth and some tough love. Anytime I’m struggling with life she has always given me a listening ear and a kind word of wisdom. She always cheers me on and never gives up on me.


Ashlyn and Me.

Cheer up, buttercup” - Ashlyn Hodges.

When I took my Public Speaking class in the Spring semester of 2015 there was a blonde haired girl who sat in front of me who I picked on for having a heavy country accent. Her name is Ashlyn Hodges. Our friendship started with me picking on her accent and grew into a familial relationship. Ashlyn is truly the kindest soul you could ever meet. When class ended we became best friends and she eventually invited me to start coming to church with her and it was there I would find a new addition of family members.

Through the toughest times of my life since we first became friends, Ashlyn has always been here for me. She has helped to see me through the worst of my struggles and she has been here to celebrate my victories with me. Whenever times got tough she would always tell me “cheer up, buttercup.” When she earned her degrees I came to her graduation and when I earned my degree she came to my graduation. 2019 was a celebratory time of graduation for both of us. We earned our degrees together and celebrated together. We both have nicknames for each other. I call Ashlyn “Hodgy” and she calls me “Patty”.


Jordyn and Me.

“Silence” “For your services” - Jordyn West.

When I took my nephew to the movies to see Captain America: Civil War in 2016 we ran into a group of young people who were big Marvel fans like us. A year later my friend Ashlyn brought me to church with her and I met one of those kids from the movies that day again, the kid I met was Jordyn West. I first met Jordyn again when I started riding to church with his mom and little brother with whom I had grown close. After they both introduced me to Jordyn we hit it off right away. We liked all the same movies with similar tast in music and he eventually introduced me to his best friends. Upon meeting his best friends I realized that I met him and his friends the year before watch Captain America: Civil War. They too became my best friends and we’ve been family ever since.

Jordyn is that good natured positive friend who you can take around everyone. He’s a big people person and is great with interaction. Contrary to how I used to be, I stayed out of alot of trouble when I started hanging with Jordyn because he never follows negativity and will not stand for it being around him. He has become close with my family, just like I am close with his and everyone who knows us sees as brothers. Because of Jordyn I have had some great adventures I never knew I’d have to like going to Comic Con and becoming a cosplayer and going to Florida and Universal Studios for the first time ever last year. Jordyn is that brother that has given me a sense of enjoyment for life and if you’ve had the privilege of befriending him then you know what it truly means to live.

It’s pretty clear how much my friends have helped to shape my life. They mean more to me than they’ll ever understand and I’m not only blessed to have them, but thankful as well.


About the Creator

Joe Patterson

Hi I'm Joe Patterson. I am a writer at heart who is a big geek for film, music, and literature, which have all inspired me to be a writer. I rap, write stories both short and long, and I'm also aspiring to be an author and a filmmaker.

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Comments (3)

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  • Tiffany Gordon 3 months ago

    WOW Joe! That was amazing! I loved learning about your friends and the bonds that you each share. You really have a knack for bringing people & memories alive on the page, in a compelling way! Kudos!! I can't wait to read your memoir one day!!

  • Mariann Carroll3 months ago

    At first, I thought this was a review of Friendsgiving movie,lol. You can tell you surround yourself with good people with positive influence on you. God is watching you in heaven. You sure got great connection up there. You keep photos means you have a compassionate heart yourself. You are the captain of your soul. There is saying, tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are. I hope you had a full belly, Thanksgiving 🙂✌🏽

  • Joe, you are blessed with wonderful friendships, but it also speaks volumes of the kind of friend you are. Thank you for sharing this powerful story. Happy Thanksgiving (and Friendsgiving)!

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