Welcome to Grateful Heart Monday, a time to reflect on a piece of gratitude to start the week off on a positive note, which for today is for the Thanksgiving I enjoyed last week at the home of my friend’s Clark and Shannon.
Before I get into that though, I want to mention that while growing up, Thanksgiving was always one of my favorite times of the year. It was spent at my Grandmother’s house in Glen Cove, Long Island, NY. There, I’d watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade to start my day and then play some games of ping pong with various family members to pass the time by until it was time for our huge feast, which was always spent in a rarely used dining room at a very ornate wooden table that my sister now owns. And once dinner was complete, it was then time for family games, which was always completed with us enjoying those holiday scrumptious desserts.
Frankly, I don’t have a single bad memory from the many Thanksgivings we had at my Grandmother’s house. But sadly, once she passed away, the same can’t be said of where and how I’d spend each of my future Thanksgiving’s. Much of that tended to be because of all the drama I brought in due to addictions I succumbed to. Once I found sobriety in 2012 from the last remaining one that plagued my life, my Thanksgiving days began to return to a much healthier sense of normalcy. For the first few years after that, my partner and I usually dined out at restaurants that had bountiful holiday meals to offer. Last year became the first year I spent one at home, as my partner decided to cook for us. But this year became the first one in a very long time, where it was spent in another’s home, that being someone I’ve sponsored through the 12 Steps. And I must say, it was a great time and a wonderful reminder of the days of old spent with my Grandmother in her home.
One of the best benefits of sponsoring in 12 Step recovery is the friendships that can sometimes arise from working so closely with another over a long period of time, which is the very thing that arose with Clark and eventually his wife Shannon. The two have become great friends to both me, as well as my partner, and the same can even be said with their three children too. During our time at their home this Thanksgiving, there was tons of laughter, love, connection, and warmth shared with each other. Food was plentiful and delicious as well. Games were enjoyed too. But, the most important thing I feel I gained and am grateful for from this year’s Thanksgiving spent at their cozy home is how I now have new blessed memories from a holiday that once held such importance to me as a kid, but lost that importance somewhere along the way in my addiction fueled years.
Hopefully this tradition of creating new beautiful memories will continue on future Thanksgivings as well. But for now, I can at least say I’m truly filled with a lot of gratitude to Clark, Shannon and their family for inviting us into their home this past holiday, as it has left a very warm place in my heart and soul and is now stored right alongside the many great memories I still have from those childhood holidays spent with my Grandmother on Thanksgiving in her home…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson