Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to this week’s Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude is the only expression in my writing for the day, which for today is for one of my friends, Tony Mattoni, and the good he does for so many.

The first time I really began to appreciate Tony was when I was at a Christmas gathering a few years ago. After the dinner ended, I really wanted one of my favorite holiday treats, a Peppermint Mocha Latte from Starbucks. He offered to drive me there and subsequently treated me to it. It was a nice gesture that I’d come to know over time in getting to know him that it’s just what he does for everyone.

If there ever was a person who’s willing to literally give the shirt off their back to help another, it’s Tony. While I’ve only been a part of his life for a short time, I’ve been around him long enough to see he truly does exude this trait. In fact, one day he was wearing a really cool pair of socks that had my favorite cartoon character on them, Marvin the Martian. I complimented him for them, telling him of my love for the Warner Brothers figure. He actually asked me if I wanted them and was willing to take them off, wash them, and give them to me! I didn’t take them of course, but it most assuredly was a beautiful trait about him that he’s simply just a giving type of guy.

In general, there are givers in this world and there are takers, but Tony is most definitely the former. Being a recovering addict, I’ve had to work hard to move from being a taker to a giver, as there were countless years of my life where I took more than I gave. That’s one thing I can say I’ve never seen when it comes to Tony, as he seems to be a care giver at heart and I think he would have made an incredible nurse in another life!

Nevertheless, Tony is also the type of guy who fronts the bill at every meal dined out, just because he likes doing so. He very much enjoys treating those eating with him and seeing their happiness because of it. I’ve tried several times to pay for some of the meals we’ve had together, which rarely goes over well because it’s honestly just something he likes to do and says he was raised to do so. I believe that, yet I do my best to still get him special coffees at Starbucks from time to time, because I personally struggle when anyone pays for me constantly. I don’t ever want someone to think I’m using them because I did do that far too much in my old active addict days.

Regardless, one of the most endearing traits of Tony is that his home is always opened to stop by and there’s typically a homemade dessert sitting on his counter for his guests to enjoy, as well as plenty of beverages to go around too. Every time I walk into Tony’s home, I feel extremely welcomed and I’ve seen others in his home feel that same way as well. He makes his home such the inviting place!

Beyond that, Tony is a great listener, an affectionate person with loving and caring touch, and even goes out of his way to feed stray cats off his back porch, which really makes me smile given I’m a cat person. I’m grateful Tony has become a part of my life and appreciate him for all that he does for me and so many others, which is why I’ve dedicated today’s Grateful Heart Monday to my dear friend Tony Mattoni.

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