I took this photo a few weeks ago while on a long drive home from a business trip deep in the heart of Nevada. I was teaching a group of business leaders about how to close the gap between what they value and what they do. I remember telling these grown, battle-hardened men, a little about my experience with Mitch and how the decision to live my values early in my life has been a particular blessing. I told them whether they experience the death of a loved one, or their daughter simply graduates from college, meets the love of her life and starts a family of her own ... everything they know today ... everything they may be tempted to take for granted will change. Tomorrow will always be different from today.

I looked these men in the eye and told them when they look back on their life, a year from now or a lifetime from now, if they live what they value they'll be able to look back and be glad they lived the life they lived. At the end of the day, isn't that what everyone wants? I think so.

On my drive home, as the sun was about to disappear behind the lonely desert mountains, I couldn't help but think of little Mitch and how much he would have loved to see what I saw. I longed for him to be sitting next to me, holding my hand, telling me about everything on his mind. Even more, I longed to love and comfort him and show him his daddy was there for him, always. The passenger seat felt especially empty that day.

So swept up by the beautiful array of light that was sinking into the darkness, I pulled my car over to take this photo I thought to myself, "Good night little Mitch. Sweet dreams. I really miss you."

As I returned to my car and drove into the night sky the words of Michael Faudet came to mind over and over again: "Good night. May you fall asleep in the arms of a dream, so beautiful, you'll cry when you awake."

I had tears in my eyes the rest of the drive home because that was exactly what I wanted. I prayed in my heart I would have just such a dream that night. I did not.

I haven't had many dreams of Mitch since he passed away … only two, in fact. Both of them were deeply emotional and lovely. 

I hope to dream of him in future days. I yearn to see him in some distant field where I will run at reckless speed to hug him and hold him and I will wet his neck with my tears. A dream so beautiful I will cry long before I wake. 

Yet, when I stop to think about it, I have already lived a life equal to my most beautiful dream. I have a wife and four wonderful children who are in every way a miracle of life and love and heaven above. When I think of that, my soul awakens with gratitude. And I cry.