Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday where I begin each week writing about a slice of gratitude in my life, which for today I’m dedicating to my sister Laura, who for all purposes has been an incredible gift to this world, and especially to my life.

By all means, my sister should have totally disowned me long ago due to all the addictions I threw upon her life day in and day out, from the age of 17 to the age of 39. Yet, she never did. Even through all my guilt trips, failed promises, backstabbing, lying, and self-centered ways, she always remained there for me, just like she did for my mother and father as well, right up until their untimely deaths.

My sister, on some level, at least in my book, is a superhero of sorts, because she thus far has dedicated the majority of her life for everyone else more so than herself. She’s probably the most selfless person I’ve ever met in my life, willing to give the very shirt off her back to help another suffering soul.

When my father became severely mentally imbalanced and was weeks away from his suicide, my sister did everything she could to show him how much she loved him, while I remained focused solely on my own selfish desires and disappeared from his life. The same was true during the last few months of my mother’s life before her tragic drunken fall down the stairs, where my sister did her best to offer unconditional love to an extremely depressed woman while I mostly just avoided communicating to my mother at all.

When I lost my seven-year relationship to a partner I thought I’d spend my life with and a business I thought I’d retire into, my sister took me in to her home when I had nowhere else to go.

When her best friend struggled to come up with money to pay for medical expenses from a disease she contracted, my sister not only contributed a significant amount of her own already stretched income, but also helped to support a fundraising effort to bring in further aid.

When those she cares about have birthdays coming up, my sister doesn’t just do a thoughtless Hallmark greeting and enclose a gift card. Instead, she takes the time to look for something truly special and unique that she hopes will somehow brighten up the recipient’s life a little.

When there is a stray animal that somehow makes its way into my sister’s life, she never abandons it and instead will consistently find a way to nurture it until it finds a home or is healthy enough to make it on its own.

When someone is struggling with their health, like I have been as of late more than not, she’ll send holistic healing products on her own dime, just to try, hoping they may help ease some of the pain.

When her children are struggling with anything in their own lives, she does her best to constantly offer unconditional love and acceptance, making sure to praise more than criticize and uplift more than discourage, which honestly, are things she nor I ever got much of in our own upbringing.

And if you’re ever able to spend even a moment of any given day in her life, I can promise you that you’ll be greeted with a smile and a hug, no matter who you are, because my sister is one of those who knows how to make everyone feel welcomed and like family, just like I believe Christ would.

You see, my sister is a great person, and worthy of today’s Grateful Heart Monday entry, for all these reasons and so much more. She has blessed this world time and time again with the gifts God bestowed her with, from cooking and baking, to doing spiritual readings and offering prayers, from gardening at schools and churches, to creating pressed glass and jewelry, and well, I could probably go on for countless pages writing about the many things my sister has selflessly done for this world, especially me.

So, I hope you have a sister, or a brother for that matter, that you can be as grateful for today, as I am for my sister, because Laura is someone who’s definitely worth being grateful for. I’m not sure if I’d still be alive today given all the pain and hardship I’ve had to endure, if it wasn’t for her ongoing acts of unconditional love, kindness, and generosity, three things of which I know God is definitely grateful for with my sister too…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson