The year after Mitch passed away my aunt and mother came to visit our home. We love having visitors – and enjoying their company that day was a treat. In many ways, my aunt is like a second mother to me and I love her dearly. She is currently in the final stage of her battle with cancer. I pray for her every single night and count myself blessed to be part of her family. 

When I was much younger I remember my aunt visiting our home. At one point we started playing some word game around the kitchen table; a moment that I treasure to this day. It wasn’t long ago she shared her memory of that night some 27 years ago … when I conjured up a funny definition to a word. While playing the game, she presented an obscure word for which I then had to come up with a definition. I didn’t know what the word meant so I said “the irresistible urge to saddle a horse.” My family comes from strong cowboy stock, so she laughed and laughed at my silly definition. When she reminded me of that moment we both laughed again, all these years later. 

It’s the little things. It’s always the little things.

So on this beautiful spring afternoon their visit may have seemed little to them, but it was big to me. I was at an especially tender time in my life – learning to live without my son – and their company and smiles seemed to lighten the weight of grief. How I needed that relief. 

My heart was full that day – because I was able to reflect on some good moments from a time long gone. I also gained a deeper appreciation for all that I had in the moment. 

As my mother and aunt began to walk down my driveway, I took a photo of these two beautiful souls, sisters joined in arms. As they carefully made their descent my mind flooded with memories of Mitch on this same slope. In my mind, I could almost see visions of Mitch laughing as he drove his scooter down at reckless speeds … or the snow blowing across the way as he slid down the snow-packed concrete. 

One place, so many memories … and here, for good measure, was yet another memory to keep and treasure.

Raising little Mitch taught me that if I look for beauty, I will find it. Well, I found something beautiful that day and my heart was overflowing with love and gratitude for these two good souls who helped shape me in their own special ways.

Today I will look for beauty. When I find beauty my grief turns into gratitude … and that is a good thing.