Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to this week’s Grateful Heart Monday, my time to reflect on an important piece of gratitude from my life, which for today is for something that may seem a little odd to be thankful for, that being the long-running television show named Supernatural.

When Supernatural began in September of 2005, I was seriously grieving the loss of my mother, who had just passed away earlier that year in a very tragic way. At that point in my life, I felt the world was filled with nothing but darkness and wished somehow, I could eliminate all of it. Enter Sam and Dean Winchester (played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) in a brand-new series on the former WB network (now the CW), two brothers raised in a family to fight off all of the evil in the world on a daily basis. Created by Eric Kripke, the show has lasted currently for 14 seasons and was just announced will officially end next year with its 15th season.

After catching wind that this show was finally coming to an end, I found myself feeling quite sad, which is something to be said, given it is a television show after all. While I’ve seen countless series on television come and go over the years and experienced frustration anytime good ones came to an abrupt halt or a formative conclusion, my reaction towards the news that Supernatural was ending was far different.

This show not only comforted me somehow when I was moving through the grieving process of my mother’s death, it also helped to positively distract me through the break-up of my last long-term relationship, the loss of the bed and breakfast I once owned, the financial failure I faced after that, then the decline of my health, and even my move to a brand new city in another part of the country where I felt more alone than not.

Sitting with Sam and Dean on whatever night the show aired over the past fourteen years is probably the only thing that I can say consistently brought a smile to my face, many laughs, comfort, and even tears. The chemistry between Jared and Jensen could easily be felt every time an episode came on. When the show finally introduced angels (like Castiel played by Misha Collins) and God (played by Rob Benedict) as well, my heart moved on many an episode and even, if you can believe it, led me to tear-soaked prayers at times, especially when I felt the presence of my own Higher Power pouring through.

I know that may seem quite ridiculous to some, that a television show could do that, but as I’ve always been a proponent of, I think God can manifest in many ways, even through something like Supernatural. And trust me when I say that I went through long periods in the past 14 years where I could hardly cry, let alone feel my heart on any level, yet Supernatural proved often to be the very cure for that.

While many might say the show jumped the shark long ago and should have ended many seasons back, I’m absolutely thankful it didn’t, because Supernatural has been a friend for many years. One that never left my side. One that connected to my soul more than not. And one that I could rely on improving my mood anytime it ever came on.

Was that because of the chemistry of all the actors and actresses? Was it because of the writing? Or was it because of the good versus evil storyline that played over the years? Honestly, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that Supernatural was a trusted uplifter in my life through many-a-dark times, from great losses to heavy addictions, and is most definitely a show I’ll miss and always be grateful for…

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

Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday, where each week begins with a piece of gratitude from my life, which for today is for a guy named Ryan, who simply was a good Samaritan during a time of great need.

I truly love the story of the Good Samaritan that Christ talks about in the Gospel of Luke. If somehow you don’t know it, it’s about a traveler who gets stripped of clothing, beaten, and left half dead alongside a road. First a priest and then a Levite walk by, both totally avoiding helping the man whatsoever. But one eventually does help, a Samaritan, who ends up providing the traveler with first aid, shelter, as well as some money for any expenses incurred, such as food or water.

In today’s day and age, being a good Samaritan has become synonymous with anyone who goes out of their way to do a good deed, who also expects nothing in return. Occasionally, I come across stories of people who do this very thing, that might not even see it as being a good Samaritan, as was the case of Ryan.

On an evening very recently, Ryan was heading on a heavily travelled highway home when a massive traffic accident abruptly took place just in front of him. During my years of addictive past, whenever I’d encounter moments like this, I sadly would quickly become that priest or Levite by driving away as fast as I could, not wanting to burden myself. Thankfully, this wasn’t the case for Ryan though, as he immediately stopped and made sure that all oncoming traffic on the highway avoided making the accident scene grow even worse.

Once he got the highway safe and secure from all oncoming vehicles, Ryan then offered to help the police when they arrived by going from car to car to check if everyone was ok, as a good number of vehicles had been involved in the accident. When he came upon the last vehicle, he found a young boy who was frantically screaming out for his father. After initially providing the boy some much-needed words of reassurance, he asked him to stay put while he walked around the vehicle. As he walked around the car, he soon found the body of his father lying motionless in the middle of the highway. Desperately checking for a pulse and finding none, Ryan swiftly returned to the boy and sheltered him from seeing the terrible sight, and in turn continued to offer words of reassurance and unconditional love until more help arrived.

While the story is tragic in of itself, it is the actions of Ryan that I felt truly warranted being written about for this week’s Grateful Heart Monday. Because if there ever was a good example of a Good Samaritan, it’s most definitely in the actions that Ryan demonstrated that fateful evening. I honestly would like to believe nowadays that I would have done the same thing, if I had been in Ryan’s shoes that evening, but I’m extremely grateful to see the Spirit of Christ showed up in Ryan in a true moment of need in this world.

So often, many of us have been that priest or Levite and walked the other way when we could have been of assistance to one of God’s children in serious need, yet thankfully there are some of us who are moved to become that Good Samaritan, people just like Ryan, good people who deserve a lot of praise and plenty to be grateful for…

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

Grateful Heart Monday

Good day to all of you and welcome to Grateful Heart Monday, where I give thanks for someone or something that has blessed my life, which for today is for Corner Dental in Oregon, Ohio.

Before I get into why I’m grateful for Corner Dental though, let me first get this out there by saying I’m definitely not a fan of dentists whatsoever. That whirring noise of all those polishers and sanders that go on my teeth, constantly making that ‘zzzzzz zzzzzz zzzzzz’ noise usually makes my skin crawl and often makes my teeth hurt as well whenever they’re used on them. And then there’s all that poking and prodding and scraping with those metal tools that frequently leave my gums and teeth totally sensitive and aching. So yeah, I’m not a big fan of dentists as you can see.

Nevertheless, I recently switched over to Oregon Corner Dental when I learned my favorite hygienist had left my previous dental office and moved there. Her name’s Ann and she’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. She really knows exactly how to calm the writhing nerves while working with all those anxiety-producing tools in your mouth and someone I look forward to seeing, even when I don’t look forward to my visits in general.

Unfortunately, there are those times though when dental issues do arise that are beyond those standard dental cleanings and in my case, I just experienced one of them quite recently when a composite filling covering up a chipped tooth from over 15 years ago fell out during my sleep. Thankfully, as soon I discovered it, Oregon Corner Dental was able to schedule me a few days out, which I was surprised given how visits at most dental offices always seem to be weeks to months out.

During my visit, both the dentist and his assistant did a lot to ease my fears. I kept asking a lot of questions, which is something I tend to do whenever I feel afraid. But not once did they make me feel like any of them were a bother. And even when the procedure was over, while I was walking out of the office, when I suddenly felt like my bite wasn’t coming down right, they took me right back in to check, just to make sure I was fully confident in their dental work.

Regrettably, four weeks later, while I was flossing, that replacement composite filling popped out again. And when it happened late on a Saturday night, it completely overwhelmed me, mostly because of all the other health issues I have been dealing with. You could say that my frustration and fears got the best of me at that point, as for the next 36 hours, until I was able to call them first thing on Monday morning when they opened at 8am, I was a complete and total mess.

I’m thankful to report though that Oregon Corner Dental took me in right away on Monday morning when I called, allowing me to be there for an 8:30am visit. After sitting in the dental chair for a bit, waiting for the dentist, one of the assistants told me that their office was getting overly packed with appointments that showed up rather early and wondered if I could be rescheduled. I told her my nerves were rather shot and that I hadn’t eaten or slept much since the chip had fallen back out, all of which was true. She understood and the dentist allowed me to be squeezed into his very busy morning. An hour or so later, I was back home and felt far more relieved.

As you can see, hypochondria and health-related fears continue to drag me down a lot these days. I get so frustrated with it all, especially when it comes to things that deal with my appearance like my teeth. Yes, I still struggle with vanity issues and will keep on working on letting them go, but I’m not there yet. So, when it comes to teeth issues, I tend to still let them get to me a lot more than I probably should.

Nonetheless, I at least wanted to offer a little gratitude today for Oregon Corner Dental, for knowing how to handle a hypochondria and health fearing type of guy like me with nothing but kindness and kid gloves…

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