This afternoon Natalie and I went to Primary Children’s Medical Center to visit another young boy who also has DMD and is struggling with heart failure. I didn't take photos of this family out of respect to their privacy, though I was strongly tempted to document their story. What happened to our sweet Mitch is happening to many, many other young children – and we want only to help them the best we can.

As Natalie and I stood outside the CICU waiting for security to let us in, my tender wife clutched the small gift she brought this boy, closed her eyes and gathered herself – for we were about to enter a place very near to our broken hearts. Just past this door and around the bend was Mitchell’s room where a medical team fought to save our son. Behind this red door was the very place we learned our son had days to live and our lives and hearts would become forever broken. 

As the doors opened it felt as if we walked back in time. Part of me anxiously peered into Mitchell’s CICU room in hopes of seeing him – instead, I saw a tender infant in the very room that was home to our little boy. As we greeted the family we were there to see, we spoke with this young man a while. He was listless and tired and struggling. Our hearts went out to this young boy who, like Mitch, only wants to live. Our hearts also went out to his parents who love their son so very much. As we said our goodbyes in the hall our hearts were heavy with sorrow and overflowing with love for them. 

As we left the hospital I couldn't help but retrace in my mind our journey home with Mitch – when he left the hospital to die. That was his last trip home and the longest commute of our life.

We don’t shake our fists at God for taking our son … His son, home. Instead, we kneel and thank God we had little Mitch in the first place and that because of him our hearts are filled with more love than ever before. 

I believe sorrow can be a teacher, turned gift, if we allow it. There is a divine purpose to suffering and struggle if we listen with our hearts. Yet listening with our hearts can be difficult, especially when they’re trembling in sorrow. But, once we quiet our minds and listen with our soul, we will see our sorrows aren't meant to hurt us – but instead our hearts shape and mold. Though we lost our son and weep in grief, we have learned a deeper kind of empathy than we know how to speak. 

I don’t know the future of Mitchell’s Journey, or the journey of our family in the years to come. I only know we want to lift and love others – that is what our sorrows taught us. 

In ways we never knew possible … we care