Welcome to Grateful Heart Monday, the weekly series where gratitude always gets expressed for someone or something in my life that has truly touched my heart, which for today is for my recent trip to Massachusetts to see my oldest and dearest friend Cedric.
Several weeks ago, when I flew out on a Wednesday to see Cedric and spend a week with him, I was a little worried about experiencing tension between he and I in regards to where’s he’s at on his spiritual journey and where I’m at. I’m very grateful to report that our bond and love for each other that has now lasted for almost 23 years transcended all of that. So, as I write today’s weekly gratitude, I want to recap the many wonderful things I got to enjoy on this trip.
At the top of it all was the silly banter and humor the two of us had that is pretty much non-stop whenever we hang out. Much of it deals with pretending to have short-term memories and resaying and replaying our days together. Most of our friends don’t quite get it, but watching the two of us engage in our strange behavior constantly seems to make everyone laugh anyway, especially ourselves. Beyond our weird humor though, I was very grateful to experience many other things too, both with him, and others as well.
The trip began with a fun meal at a Cheesecake Factory in Providence, Rhode Island upon my arrival, which also included indulging in some take-out desserts later that night while beginning our binge watch of Season 2 of Impulse on YouTube. Thursday involved a very pleasant stroll through a nearby large state hospital grounds that ultimately helped to reconnect our spiritual journeys together, after which I enjoyed a nice home cooked meal, which was followed by a laughter-filled car ride to a Starbucks and an astounding AA commitment. Oh, and speaking of Starbucks, I went to a different one every single day on this trip and really appreciated the many great conversations I had at all of them sipping a number of different types of coffees. Anyways, on Friday, we took an incredible day trip to Gloucester, Rockport, and Newburyport, all while getting to see the beautiful Massachusetts coastline, eating at one of my favorite old haunts called Sugar Magnolias, checking out a number of local artisans, sipping on amazing lattes at the Lone Gull Coffeehouse, and talking to many local townsfolk in each of the towns. Saturday I was pumped to reconnect with my dear friend Debbie, someone I used to work for long ago, who spent the entire afternoon and evening with me hanging out, having coffee, watching me do a 12 Step recovery lead, and dining at a hip place called Moby Dick’s Ale House in New Bedford. And speaking of reconnection, after an extremely long period of time, Sunday involved spending time with a friend I hadn’t seen in 10 years, a guy named Ethenios. We met him and his fiancée Megan at a new restaurant I’d never been to in Marlborough, a place called the 110 Grill, which was extremely tasty. Later that evening Cedric and I laughed our asses off watching Bad Boys 3 at a nearby theater and finished our night off having dessert while watching the final episode of Season 2 of Impulse. On Sunday, I spent the first part of it with another dear friend I’ve known as long as Cedric and Debbie, a guy named Sean, who took me to a superb restaurant for lunch called La Familia, after which we had coffee and sat by a local lake all while having intimate conversation with a great view. Later that night, I ate some of the best NY style pizza at a local joint named Blooms in West Bridgewater and went to a deeply connecting AA men’s meeting I used to attend regularly when living in the area. On my final full day of my trip, I enjoyed going to a local AA bookstore called the Sober Camel, treated Cedric to a relatively new cuisine in his life, that being sushi, and ended with some great dessert and coffee at a place called Fratelli’s.
Truly, there were plenty of special moments to be grateful for on my trip to Massachusetts. But, ultimately, it was the unconditional love I continue to share with Cedric that made me the most grateful, even if he and I continue to be on very different spiritual paths right now in life. I’m so very thankful I went on this trip, for all that I got to enjoy while on it, for all the other dear friends who took the time to come see me, and for all the new connections I made as well, as each helped to leave me with plenty of gratitude to be shared for this week’s Grateful Heart Monday.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson