Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another chapter of Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude begins each of my weeks in writing. For today, I want to express how grateful I am for my dear friends Tom and Bill, a couple who recently just married after 30 years of being together.

For what seems like ages ago now, I had the pleasure of first meeting Tom at a social group that’s here in Toledo. My partner and I had been looking to make new healthy friendships with other people in the area and found this men’s group that did food and coffee socials on a weekly basis. At that outing I first met Tom, I learned he had a partner of many years named Bill and not too long after that, the four of us began hanging out.

It’s been several years now since our first couple’s hangout together and it’s truly been a blessing to have them in my life. They both make me laugh quite often and most definitely know how to lighten my mood. There was one night I went over to their house for a meal not too long ago, where I felt so exceptionally depressed. But, it didn’t take long for the two of them to find a way to lift my spirit like they always seem to find a positive way to do.

One thing I really love about these guys is how much they enjoy the quiet downtime in small social settings. Like Chris and I, Bill and Tom traditionally prefer our couple’s hangout as compared to going to parties or bars. Up until these COVID times, we were regularly going out to dinner and would traditionally end each of our evenings at one of our homes playing cards, usually Euchre. Over the past few months though, in light of all the social distancing, we’ve spent more time at each other’s houses cooking meals instead and have even started playing another card game now, that being Hearts. It’s become a weekly thing for the four of us to spend time together and it’s something I’ve come to really look forward to.

There are plenty of other things about Bill and Tom that I love beyond their humor. They have a wonderful sense of hospitality, have opened their homes to Chris and I on a bunch of holidays including Christmas, have consoled both of us during hard times, have frequently reached out over the phone just to check on us, they’re great huggers, amazing cooks, and well, they’re just those type of people you find yourself wanting to be around because they welcome you in as if your family.

While I’ve truly struggled much in the Midwest making friends, I haven’t had to struggle at all when it comes to my connection to Bill and Tom. While both like to pick on me, there’s a level of love and care that comes along with it, that makes it far different than others who have picked on me at my expense. I can actually see Tom grinning right now as he reads this, because he has this overly dry sense of humor that I know only comes from that soft spot he has in his heart for me! Right Tom? 🙂 As for Bill, well, Bill reminds me a lot of me, especially in his level of energy and the fact that he’s in touch with his inner child like I am. We both tend to be pretty goofy much of the time around each other.

From Bill’s explosive laughter to Tom’s southern drawl, I’ve grown quite fond of the two of them in so many ways. Handsome, charming, and truly great friends to Chris and I, I’m thankful to know they’ve finally tied the knot after 30 years! I’m so grateful to be a part of their lives and just wanted to dedicate this week’s Grateful Heart Monday to them, because my life is far better in Toledo having them a part of it!

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