Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude is the only focus of my writing at the start of every week, which for today is for solo summer 2021 trip I am just completing now as I write this.

Parting truly is such sweet sorrow as they say, as my heart is feeling very sad right now sitting here in the airport waiting to return home. Yet, I am still filled with immense gratitude for this past week that I got to spend with my dearest and closest friend Cedric here in Massachusetts.

Any visit to Massachusetts tends to bring up plenty of memories, both positive and negative, given the seven-plus years I spent here both in addiction and recovery. But, if there is one thing that I felt very blessed by on my return trip here after 7 years of not living here is knowing this is where the true foundation of my work in the 12 Steps began. It’s precisely why I made sure to get at least one volunteer commitment in at a sober house (The Gilly House in Wrentham) and attend at least one AA meeting (Annisquam Sunday Night 7pm Library Meeting in Gloucester). Both quickly rejuvenated my love for recovery work and my still being clean and sober from alcohol and drugs for over 26 years now.

Beyond my dedication to my recovery from addiction that travels with me even on vacations, there are a number of highlights from this trip away that I am truly blessed by. I already mentioned two of them in my article from a few days ago where I was able to complete a 14-mile bike ride and a 4.5-mile walk during my vacation getaway. There was also a trip to Block Island with my dear friend Sean Slater that included a beautiful hour-long ferry ride, a several-hour moped ride around the island to see the two amazing lighthouses there, a dinner at The Harbor Grill & Orchid Lounge, and some homemade ice cream (Aldo’s Bakery) before we departed. Add in a dinner at the Cheesecake Factory in Braintree with my dear friend Debbie Coon, several walks on various beaches, quick dips in the chilly, yet exceptionally clear New England ocean waters, seeing The Fast and the Furious (Part 9!) in Imax in Danvers, a very lavish Greek wedding between two friends of Cedric and I (Megan and Tim) that began at an extremely beautiful church (Assumption of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Ipswich and ended at an extremely lively reception (The Mansion at the Hellenic Center in Ipswich), evenings spent on our motel balcony (Atlantis Oceanfront Inn in Gloucester), great meals (Not Your Average Joe’s in Peabody, and Two Sisters Café, Sebastian’s Pizza, and The Causeway, all in Gloucester), homemade almond joy ice cream (White Farms Ice Cream on the Causeway), plenty of cold brew from Starbucks (LOL!), making a rock totem on the ocean cliffside, visiting several lighthouses in Gloucester, and countless moments of uncontrollable laughter that always seems to happen whenever Cedric and I get together including crashing my bike into his and looking like a turtle trying to get up off the ground after, him spilling coffee all over himself and smelling his hands constantly afterwards, and constantly playing our Mr. Forgetful game (you have to ask)).

While the trip had many moments of frustration due to increased health issues for me, I’m choosing to far more grateful for all these positive things that happened, especially the amazing weather that God blessed us with the entire trip away. I can’t believe the vacation is over, as seven days away really flew by, but I look forward to the next one that will come in October when I get to see Cedric again.

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