At about 8:15 last night we had a special visitor at our door. This was the woman from Alaska I spoke of in my funeral address. We were excited to meet her in person, for she played an unexpected but important role during our darkest hours. Once a lamp unto our feet, as the path we tread was dark and treacherous, this compassionate woman was now a light to our weary hearts.

After we spoke for while we showed her Mitchell’s room which has been relatively untouched since the time of his passing. I stood in deep reverence of these two mothers who loved and lost their boys. While my heart cries out in agony over the loss of my son, I recognize that a mother’s pain is different and deeper than that of a father’s. For they gave their child life and carried them in ways only a mother knows. 

A little over a year ago I sat at the foot of this very bed, trembling and in tears as my son was sick and dying. It was in this very place we received emails from this inspired woman who offered insight and council that came from her own experience. 

It seemed rather poetic that this woman, once a stranger to us; a woman who spoke peace to our hearts during the darkest time in our lives was finally in that same room. The thought of such a reunion had never entered my heart or crossed my mind. Yet there she was, once again, like a gift from heaven. 

Why do we suffer? Why do we stumble and fall? So we can learn the deeper meaning of love, compassion and service. For without such, we wouldn't know much at all.

My heavy heart once hung by a single tattered thread. Now it hangs by a thousand threads of light. A thousand tender mercies … a thousand things that give me sight.