When I was young, I always sought after who was beautiful. After all, that’s what boys tend to do. But now that I've grown a little, I find myself seeking after what is beautiful. And I've learned beauty isn't so much seen, but felt … that in fact true beauty, the kind that matters, is never seen with the eyes but it is felt with the heart.

I remember this day so well. We drove to my in-laws ranch in Wyoming to spend the weekend away from the routines of life. Everything seemed slower over there – in part because it is so far away from everything we knew. I was in my early 30’s and it felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. I worried about my business, payroll, my mortgage, health insurance, paying for diapers and everything else young dad’s worry about. I felt profoundly inadequate as a husband, father and professional – so I always found getting away a little cathartic and healing. 

On this occasion we drove to a river a few miles from the ranch to explore its banks. At the time we didn't know about Mitchell’s diagnosis – it would be a few months after this photo that our dreams of the future would be dashed and our hearts forever broken. Everything that weighed heavy then would soon be made light in comparison.

Mitch was a tiny boy with a huge heart. Whenever I placed him on my shoulders he would always grab my hair like the reigns to a horse and steer me the direction he wanted to go. He would giggle while he tugged my hair and I would make pained faces because it hurt. Sometimes it hurt a lot … but that was a small price to pay for helping my son have a little fun. 

As we started to walk to our car I saw my wife hold Mitchell’s hand as he took tiny steps along the road. I remember thinking at that moment if I were in search of the most beautiful scene in all eternity, for me, this was it. I remember getting emotional when I saw these two beautiful souls holding hands. That was love. That was beauty. I realized right then I was the richest, luckiest guy on earth and my heart was awash with gratitude.

Abigail Van Buren wrote “If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money.” My sweet wife has always done just that … and it has been beautiful to behold. This photo was one of those moments.

Without trying to, my wife taught me by her quiet example that time and attention is the currency of love and the foundation of lasting relationships. I pray I never forget what she so gracefully taught me.

I love being a father because I have learned how to love --- I mean truly love. I also love being a father because I get to witness the beauty and power of motherhood. It simply has no equal.