I’LL LIFT YOU WHEN YOU FALL
Mitch was always concerned about falling. Unlike “regular kids” [as he called them] he lacked the strength to break his fall and lessen the impact of hitting the ground. Gravity was no friend to him and when he fell, he fell hard. Toward the end of his life Mitch found it increasingly difficult to get up from the ground by himself. Sometimes it was impossible.
Sweet Mitch wanted so much to run and play like other children. And when he did, he got himself in trouble. Every time he tried, he fell. Unlike a benevolent tutor, nature never rewarded his effort. In fact, the harder he tried the weaker he became.
Last summer we took our kids to a park just down the road from our home. I loved the summer clouds towering like mountains in the sky. Mitch and I used to lay on the grass and look in to the vast blue and imagine what it would be like if we could bounce from cloud to cloud like trampolines. This was one of those days.
Mitch was doing his best to run around and be like the others but he couldn't keep up. At one point he fell down pretty hard and Natalie raced to lift him. She said to him, “It’s okay honey, I’ll lift you when you fall.” I loved hearing that. I wrote about it in my journal that night and I cried. Her words kept playing back in my mind like a beautiful sonnet with a heavenly promise … “I’ll lift you when you fall.”
And that’s how it was with my wife … ever there to lift our children when they fell. If there was one thing Mitch could count on, it was his mom. She was there for him, always.
Mitch fell a lot this day … and he fell a thousand times since. Many times it was painful. But he always tried. And his mom, an angel made mortal … brokenhearted … was always there to lift him.
I miss my son. Oh, how I miss him. I would do anything to be tired again … to be worn out in his service. What I wouldn't do to be inconvenienced by his care if that meant I could hold his hand once more and look into his eyes and tell him how much I love him.
In this photo are two broken giants that I admire greatly. I stand deep in their shadow. I pray that I have the courage to try like my son tried. And I pray that I have the selflessness to set aside my own comforts and lift others like my sweet wife lifted my son. These two are my heroes. And I love them.
I cannot help but think that somehow, when all of this is over, we will find in our brokenness was the secret to being made whole. That our weakness, if we seek divine help, can be made strengths.
There is a reason we fall. And a reason we were meant to lift.