Welcome to another chapter of Grateful Heart Monday where I start my week off with one piece of gratitude, which for today is for my best friend Cedric from Massachusetts.
Many years ago, in the fall of 1997 actually, I met Cedric in the rooms of recovery. I wasn’t very serious about my recovery then even though he was, yet he always saw the best in me anyway and I so admired that part of him, as much as I admired many other parts of his unique personality as well.
You see, Cedric is one of those rare people in the world who just lights up any room he enters. He radiates joy more than not and has a deep booming laughter that will make you want to laugh right along with him too. He is one of the most spiritual, Christ-loving individuals I’ve ever met as well, which are just some of the many reasons why I was so drawn to get to know him in the first place so long ago now.
But even more important and probably the thing that makes me the most grateful for Cedric is that he’s never given up on me, even when I’ve given up on myself time and time again. He stuck around and remained my friend, even when I acted extremely selfish and self-centered for great lengths of time. While some would say that Cedric was crazy for sticking by my side through all he endured, but really that’s just Cedric, someone you can always count on and someone who never gives up on anyone.
Our friendship has definitely gone through a series of iterations over the years, but it’s always survived each of our ups and downs because Cedric is one of those people who practices unconditional love and forgiveness and does his very best to always see his part in any division.
Honestly, if it wasn’t for Cedric, I’d never have found my way into recovery whatsoever, as it was he who took my call when I finally had enough of living the dry drunk life back in September of 2007. It was during that call he invited me to attend his home group in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, which became the catalyst to changing the rest of my life from one of just surviving and staying sober to one of living an actual life of recovery.
In recent years, my list of things to grateful for with Cedric continues to grow because he’s shown how loyal of a friend he is, even with my health being as bad as it’s been. While many who maintain they’re my friend have distanced themselves from me, Cedric hasn’t and instead, has reminded me time and time again that even if he was just sitting in the same room as me, that it would be enough and would still mean the world to him. Which for me is the surest sign of a true friend that I can think of, someone who never abandons you, even when the going gets rough and stays rough for an extremely long period.
I absolutely love my weekly conversations with Cedric when we connect over the phone, because he’s someone who knows how to tap into the Spirit and uplift me no matter how bad my day might be. We usually talk a few times a week and there have been plenty of those conversations where I’ve been more down than not. Yet that never seems to dissuade Cedric whatsoever, from continuing to draw closer, and I think much of that is due to the level of faith he has in God.
Sometimes I feel like it’s his faith alone that helps to keep me going, especially on those days and weeks when my health issues are relentless. And when they are, something I cherish about Cedric is how he’s always opened to praying with you no matter where you are and in any given moment. His prayers are not only deeply caring and connecting but tend to consistently feel like they’re specifically tailored for you from his heart.
That’s why I’ve always felt like Cedric would make a great pastor and I hope someday that may actually come true, because I fully believe that his good nature, his unconditional love for all human beings, and his desire to serve God wholeheartedly, will make for an incredible foundation for a church to grow from.
The bottom line is that after 20 years of friendship, I am still finding more and more ways to be appreciate Cedric. He is an amazing son of God and someone I owe much of my life to. So, thank you Cedric, for just being you, as you have led me and I’m sure plenty of others to have bountiful amounts of gratitude when they think of you…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson