The warmth of the evening sun wrapped our bodies like a thick quilt. Tiny Mitch stumbled to the ground, scraped his knee badly and it began to bleed. Immediately he picked himself up from the sidewalk and ran to his mother’s arms for comfort. Mitch had just been diagnosed with DMD and suddenly all of his trips, stumbles and spills began to make sense. His little legs, although they looked healthy, were already demonstrating signs of catastrophic muscle wasting. 

I’ll never forget how tiny Mitch snuggled into his mother’s arms, holding his baby Nerf football. He cried little and wished he didn’t hurt. Mitchie just wanted to run and play with the strength of healthy kids – but hard falls and bruised knees were what he came to know all-too-well. My angelic wife held our baby boy with love in her arms and healing in her wings. She couldn’t take the scrapes and bruises away, but she could carry his heartache and wipe his little tears – and that seemed to make everything okay again. Euripides was on to something when he said, “Oh, what a power is motherhood …” , for I have seen the nurturing power of motherhood with my own eyes.

I remember taking this photo and falling in love with this moment; not because my son was hurt but because love was made visible. It was brighter than the evening sun and warmed my soul from the inside out.

Natalie has always had a quiet dignity about her and never shared her love to get attention or accolades. Instead, she has lived a life of hushed service and deep love for others. Wherever she goes her love is made visible – not from dancing and prancing across the stage of life, but in quietly lifting people from dark corners and loving those who feel faceless, lost in a crowd of people. She has always served people in that way and it is as natural to her as breathing is to me. 

So, when Mitch was on the edge of death, scared and wanting so much to live, I saw my angelic wife comfort our son in this same way; wings stretched wide and arms filled with love. She sat quietly at his bedside, holding his hand and whispering words of comfort as he slowly slipped away. Something deep within me tells me Mitch experienced that same comfort from his mother’s love as he did on this warm summer day. She couldn’t heal his fluttering heart, but she could stand beside him and wipe his tears and assure him everything would be okay – even though she knew she wouldn’t be okay. That is the power of motherhood.

When I think back on life’s most profound and healing moments, love has always been present. Love has always been visible. In ways I never imagined, I’ve discovered if I love and serve others, the shadows of grief are kept small. If I withhold the light of love, the shadows overtake me and I get lost in grief.

Natalie and little Mitch showed me what it means to have their love made visible. They showed me that it isn’t enough to think or feel love … but we must show it in our every word and deed; and when the light of our love is made visible, we begin to heal at great speed.