It was difficult to get Mitch to eat. His appetite took a significant dive mid-December and with few exceptions it never really returned. His perfusion was so poor that, even if he felt like eating, his digestive system couldn't handle much of anything. Toward the end my son would throw up whenever he ate. That was so hard to see. His body, already weak and frail, struggled to recover after each violent episode. 

Natalie had prepared some soup for Mitch and I asked if he wanted to eat in bed. This time he wanted to walk to the kitchen so I held my sons hand as we carefully made our way. He was tired but determined to be independent as long as possible. I love him. Mitch arched his back as he walked to keep his balance because DMD had already stripped his strength away. He was getting so frail and his interaction with the world increasingly brittle.

Ever since he was a tiny little boy we had a very special manner in which Mitch and I held hands. As I softly held his hand escorting him to the kitchen, he moved his hand to hold mine in our special way. The lump in my throat, which never seemed to leave, began to grow. I smiled softly at him and put on a brave face but inside I was falling apart.

Mitch didn't get sick this day – for which I was grateful.

As I looked at my little boy I couldn't help but see something else. I saw my brother. I didn't see someone who looked like one of my brothers, I saw a little boy who was my brother. Toward the end I saw in Mitch things that startled me … I will write of those another time. 

I have spent much of my life contemplating the age of a soul. How old are we really? No one really knows, I suppose … at least not here. But when I am quiet and thoughtful I get a sense we are older than we know. And when I think of my son, my brother, I get the recurring impression I am Mitchell’s younger brother and that he was teaching me.