Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to Grateful Heart Monday, a time to reflect upon a slice of gratitude from my life, which for today is for a friend named Robb D., who truly has been an inspiration to me on many levels.

I originally had the pleasure of meeting Robb back in 2014 when both he and I first began serving on the hospital and institution committee for our local area of Alcoholics Anonymous. For a period of time, Robb and I shared a weekly commitment together at Rescue Crisis, the very same place I continue to volunteer even today.

From the onset, I noticed Robb and I couldn’t be any more different, yet I still admired his unique differences. He truly beats to his own drum and is one of those people who prides himself in that uniqueness, which might be the very reason why he and I have become pretty decent friends over the years, because the two of us, while opposite in personalities, stand out on our own against the grain more than not.

The most interesting thing I find about Robb is his love for being in nature. Every time I see that show “Naked and Afraid” advertised on television, I think of him because he’s definitely someone who could be dropped off in the middle of nowhere, with absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing, including no clothes, and he would survive with flying colors. You see, Robb is a master at hunting and fishing and has incredible survivalist skills. I really admire this trait in him because honestly, I need an electrical outlet when I go camping for my hairdryer! In all seriousness though, Robb is someone you’d want to be around if there ever was an end of the world situation. I half joke with him all the time about where I’d go if there ever was a zombie apocalypse.

Beyond Robb’s incredible outdoor skillset, he’s also someone who goes above and beyond the call of recovery duty day in and day out. He’s one of those people who will either call or text out of the clear blue, just to check in on you and make sure you’re ok, and then persist in reaching out until you respond letting him know all is well. He has such a good heart and cares far beyond a superficial level, although he may never outright come out and say that.

On a similar level of humility, Robb is also someone who never prays for himself. Instead, he prays for everyone else who’s in need and trusts that God will provide for the rest, including himself.

Speaking of God, he’s definitely gifted Robb in the area of cooking and preparing food. Beyond the amazingly huge vegetable garden that Robb grows in his backyard each year, he prepares his own meat that he hunts, makes his own spices and juices, and has the best hot peppers I’ve ever had, including a hot pepper spice mix that I now love using on so many things I eat at home.

And probably the biggest trait I admire in Robb is how he carries a level of physical pain that’s even higher than mine, but never lets it stop him from living his life. He regularly goes to the gym to workout, spends hours in a tree stand hunting, is constantly splitting wood, always hiking in nature for mushrooms, and on and on, never once complaining about his pain.

Lastly, and maybe admired just as equally as his ability to carry a high threshold for pain, I want to mention that Robb is also one of those guys you can call for a favor and he’ll do his best to be there for you. Whether it’s needing a ride somewhere, or the use of his truck to haul something, or simply needing a friend to talk to, or for getting coverage to lead a 12 Step recovery meeting, I have never known Robb to not do his best to be there for someone in need of help. Because this is just who Robb is.

Truly humble in spirit, a devout follower of God, someone who’s dedicated more to giving than taking, to loving more than hating, consistently looking on the bright side of things, I am proud to call Robb a close friend, a brother in my organization he’s now a part of (MKP), and a fellow sober companion.

Ultimately though, when it comes down to it, words of gratitude may not offer Robb the justice I feel he deserves, as the level of positive changes he’s made both within himself and in the world around him are beyond my own literary abilities.

The bottom line is that  I couldn’t be any prouder of the guy and can say without a shadow of a doubt that I am truly grateful for him in countless ways and for just being a part of my life, because his presence truly makes me a better person.

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