There are a lot of moments in life I wish I could do over so I could do them better. Then there are some moments that are so wonderful I want to do them over so I can re-experience them. This was one of those moments I wish I could do over. 

It was January 9th, 2013 when my sweet wife sent me a text message about a lunch date I had with my son that day. Because I’m an impulsive memorist, I screen captured her message the moment I received it. Looking back, I’m so glad I did.

This was just a few short weeks before Mitch went to the hospital for end-stage heart failure. On this day Mitchell’s school invited parents to have lunch with their kids in the cafeteria. I had known about this for a few weeks and I was so excited to hang out with my son. At his request I brought him an Arby’s sandwich, curly fries and a chocolate shake. That was his favorite, and mine too. 

As we sat in the cafeteria Mitchell’s aide, Alex, asked if he could sit with us. I was excited to have him spend time with us so I could learn a little more about how Mitch was doing at school. Mitch liked Alex and trusted him and seemed to always feel safe around him. Alex doesn't know it, but Mitch talked about him at home often and our hearts were always relieved that he had him as a friend and aide. 

Mitch, being soft and shy, sat at the table quietly dipping his curly fries in a generous pool of Arby’s sauce and saying hello to the kids who wandered by and waved at him. I loved to see Mitch in his element and to see that he had friends all around who cared about him. I was also able to watch Mitch play UNO during recess and was reminded that life doesn't have to be perfect to be great. I know that little Mitch had a great life and that soothes my broken heart. 

At one point during our conversation Alex started to tell me something about Mitch and his older brother that touched his heart and in turn touched mine. He said that every day, without fail, Ethan (his older brother) would come up to Mitch at lunch and say hello and give him a brotherly hug. Alex mentioned how that act of kindness affected him and he started to tear up. This grown man, a retired commercial pilot and former military officer, who has seen more in his life than Mitch and I combined was moved to tears by that gentle act of kindness between two brothers. I remember being almost moved to tears by what Alex said and how it affected him. I was grateful then, and remain today, that this good man was part of my son’s life. 

I was also reminded that Mitchell’s Journey was so much more than the journey of my broken boy. As I wrote in a recent post … “I used to envision life's journey as a single, straight path. But the older I get, the more I'm beginning to see, just how intertwined our lives really can be. Life is not a path to be tread by one, but a web so intricate and woven … it is, I am certain, heavenly spun.” 

This was my last school lunch with Mitch … almost 2 years to this very day. I wish I could go back in time and drink in this moment more deeply. I wish I could do this day over, not because it was bad, but because it was that good. I can’t think of a single business meeting that was more important than spending time with my son at this very moment. This day was an investment in time and attention that is paying dividends far beyond grief and loss. 

The truth is, I've made a hundred million mistakes in my life. In so many ways I identify with the phrase, “O wretched man that I am.” But once in a while I get things right. On this day I got it right. I spent time with my son and lived what I valued – and that is worth more to me than all the treasures of earth. On top of that, I spent a moment with this good man who loved my son and shared something I wouldn't have ever known … and because of that, I learned a lesson of love that day I shall not soon forget.

So, although I wish I could do this day over so that I might re-live the love that I felt for my son, because I did my best to be with him, instead of wishing for what might have been, I can at least be grateful for what has been. I can’t re-do moments – but I can re-live them in my mind and heart. And that’s close enough. Today and forevermore, I hope to live a little better than the day before – so that when I am old and tired … anxious to pass over so that I might see my little son again … I hope to look back and be glad I lived the life I lived. Perhaps when I truly have heaven’s eyes, I'll look back and want to do my life over … because, despite the weight of grief and depths of sorrow, it was that good.