Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude remains the main focus of my writing at the start of every week, which for today is for two people, Chuck and Lynn Sords, who were really there for me just after my father took his life and remained a loving part of my life ever since.
It’s hard to believe that it has been over two and half decades since my father took his life. As tragic as his passing was all those years ago, there indeed was a very strong blessing that came just after it and that was the entrance into my life of a couple who attended the church I was attending at the time, who surrounded me with love when I felt it wasn’t worth being loved or loving anyone anymore.
Those initial weeks after my father’s passing were a total blur, even to this day, but if there is one thing I remember quite vividly during that period of time, it was Chuck and Lynn approaching me on one of the Sunday’s I attended service after my Dad’s death at the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington D.C. There, in their hands, was a small teddy bear that on its shirt said, “Prayer Bear”. They told me that the bear would comfort me through that difficult time and that the love of them both was in that bear. I most assuredly felt that when I took the bear into my hands. That day the service was taken from the book of “Philip” and I subsequently named the bear that solely for that reason. Philip has remained a close part of my life and either slept in my bed or nearby my bed ever since, always reminding me that there is someone in this world who truly loves me, even when I sometimes don’t feel worthy of being loved or loving at all.
I truly have been grateful for Philip, but I’m more grateful for Chuck and Lynn remaining a part of my life ever since that day I received the teddy bear. Chuck and Lynn became surrogate parents of sorts after that, given all the turmoil I went through. They truly surrounded me with unconditional love, opening up their home countless times to me, for meals, game nights, conversation, and connection, something I never really had much of in my own biological family.
While over the years the proximity to where Chuck and Lynn live to where I live has grown quite distant, all it takes to see how close I still am to either is to pick up the phone and call them, or to suddenly receive a call from either, like I did recently from Chuck. I tend to generally feel much better after talking to them and often wish I did live much closer to them.
How many times Chuck and Lynn have consoled me when I needed it, embraced with me warmth, and surrounded me with love over the years is countless by this point in time, and although I have not seen either in person in well over a decade by now, I still continue to feel their presence in my heart and soul and probably always will.
Philip will forever be a wonderful reminder of their love, but Chuck and Lynn’s love for me and vice versa most definitely transcends far beyond the physical construct of the teddy bear. I know God put Chuck and Lynn in my life exactly when I needed it, by moving their hearts to connect with mine through the gift of Philip, and I will eternally be thankful for that and for them continuing to remain a part of my life ever since that day.
That’s why today’s Grateful Heart Monday is dedicated to two individuals in this world who have consistently shared their hearts and love openly with me, embracing me with something I never had much of growing up. Thank you, Chuck and Lynn Sords for all you’ve done for me, you both mean the world to me and always will…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson