Last night I spoke to a woman's organization about Mitchell's Journey. I was asked to speak several months ago by a woman whose name was both familiar and unfamiliar to me. I didn't connect the dots until last night when she started talking to me as I was setting up my computer. She said, "My daughter is Sage, Mitchell's friend." Suddenly everything came back to me and I remembered meeting them at Mitchell's funeral. It took a great deal of effort to hold back my tears. While there was already a great deal of love in my heart, it began to burst at the seams.

Their theme for the night was entitled "Some Extraordinary Women" so I focused my address on the amazing women who were part of Mitchell's Journey and the impact their love and service had on our family. From the meatloaf story, to paper hearts and yellow ribbons, there were so many amazing women who stepped up and offered love and comfort. 

I also spoke about the special relationship between Natalie and her sister, Sonya, and how they were a special gift to each other ... but most especially Mitch. Each story I shared drew focus to the extraordinary women in my life and the incredible blessings that came as a result of them and their selfless service.

I recorded audio of the event and will try to post it soon. At one point during my time with these extraordinary women I said I was convinced women are the most powerful force in nature. With all that I am, I believe that is true.

I then shared a quote by Neal Maxwell that read: "When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sounds of lullabies?"

In my estimation, women have more influence on the affairs of this world than society at large appreciates. 

After my address I was blessed to meet some of these remarkable women with whom I spoke. Natalie also spent time visiting with everyone and I looked upon my wife with continued admiration for the good, tender and loving woman she is. I loved the spirit of love that was felt in that room.

Earlier that night I was made aware that a woman in the audience lost her son almost 18 years ago. She sat kindly at a chair as I knelt down to visit with her. I could see a depth in her eyes that seemed to speak of the long journey of grief and healing she's experienced. After a few moments of visiting she pulled from her purse a framed photo of her lovely son. My heart swelled with compassion and love for her and her son. I hugged her and told her that I cared. I hope she felt it, because I meant it. 

There, too, was an extraordinary woman ... a mother who loves her son deeply and will never forget him. The thought occurred to me that as long as love last, grief lasts. 

With each passing day, I think I'm beginning to better understand our journey moving forward. While our journey was borne of sorrow it has become a journey of hope, healing and finding happiness.

There is so much we hope to do with Mitchell's Journey - so many ways we want to lift and help others. We hope to see you in person or virtually as we have our third annual Miles for Mitchell on April 25th.