True to the Make-A-Wish tradition, Mitch had just thrown his coin into the wishing pond. I don’t know what he wished, but whatever it was, I hope he got it. 

Everything seemed surreal back then. Mitch appeared so normal at the time and the effects of DMD were all but invisible to the untrained eye. We almost felt guilty going on a Make-a-Wish trip because he wasn’t profoundly sick … yet. But we saw the storm clouds on the horizon, we knew what was coming and decided to make the most of what strength he had. The decision to go when we did was a blessing in disguise.

After little Mitch threw his coin in the water I sat on the edge of the pond then grabbed my son and gave him a big hug and kiss. Wyatt wanted in on the love and I hugged and kissed him, too. Not a day passes that I don’t show and tell my kids how much I love them. Not a single day.

Mitch was a little overwhelmed by all that was happening. As far as he was concerned, he was pretty-much normal and he wondered why everyone was making such a fuss about him. But Mitch didn’t know what the doctors knew – that the path that lay at my son’s feet would soon become treacherous and one day his path would end. 

When I was younger and envisioned my future, my heart wasn’t set on having a big home or fancy cars; I just wanted children to call my own. I wanted to be a father. I have had many professional titles in my life and none of them mean as much to me as father. I would sooner hear the word “Dad” from my children’s voices than any title or accolade the world could offer. I would give up everything I have if that meant I could be a father to Mitch for one more day. 

There is a saying that goes: “the real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.” When I look at my wife and children I feel like I’m the wealthiest man on earth. And if love is a measure of real wealth, than I am rich indeed – and I will spend the rest of my life sharing my love in word and deed.