Last September Mitchell’s Aunt Sonya, who had become almost a second mother to him, got married. Up to this point, her personal and professional life was more than coincidence – it was nothing short of providential. I will write of that another day. 

Emotions were especially tender this wedding day because a very special boy was absent. Though I was happy to be with family and I loved then so, my heart was quietly searching for the one who was missing. Though my mind knows where he is, my heart will ever search for him. I remember being on the verge of tears the entire day and I felt like the slightest bump or pebble would break the emotional dam holding back a flood of painful emotions. There were times I had to excuse myself to let the tears flow. 

As the wedding photos were being taken I noticed Sonya wearing a special gift given to our family by Cathy O’Grady, perhaps one of the most charitable and loving people I have ever met. She had been following our son’s story and felt moved to make some pendants in honor of our fallen son; a gift for which we are forever grateful. Cathy, having been touched by Mitchell’s Journey dedicated the sale of her pendants to the fight against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – my son’s killer.

The wedding photographer, knowing our family’s loss and Sonya’s tender relationship with Mitch, took special photos of Sonya and her pendant. While these two photos are not mine, I love them because they remind me to be grateful for the gift givers of the world. When I look at these photos I see many gifts and my heart swells with gratitude.


  • I see my son, though a source of deep love and great agony, Mitch was a gift to me.
  • I see Sonya, a gift to our family and son from a loving Father who knew we needed and angel, and sent us one.
  • I see Cathy O’Grady, once a stranger, now a friend, the most loving of Samaritans.
  • I see the hand of my Father, who is gentle and wise … patiently teaching me to open my eyes.

I am grateful.