This evening I asked Natalie if she wanted to go on an adventure. Excited to go outside and explore, we packed two sandwiches and went on a hike up a local canyon near our home. Our kids were at various functions - so we had this time to ourselves.
While driving to our destination we laughed at how excited we were to explore - and that it felt like we were dating again. We both vowed to never stop dating each other, to never stop trying, and to always catch each other when we fall.
As we hiked up the canyon, we started to talk about our kids, our future, and lessons from our past. We even talked about how much we adore and miss little Mitch. When we're together, Natalie and I always talk about Mitch - for we don't get to have new memories with him. All we have is what we've done so we cling to memories like treasures without price.
At one point, I took this photo of my wife with my iPhone and added a painterly filter to it. Then, this quote by Victoria Erickson came to mind and made me think of Natalie ... and I smiled. I started to think how much I admire her and how I wish to be as strong as she is one day.
If it's true that you are the average of the 5 people you hang out with the most, I want to hang out with (and be like) her the most.
I was grateful for this hike in the woods - for I felt a certain joy in my heart and gratitude for my own life journey, no matter how difficult it has been.
In my heart, knew I was living what Mitch taught me - to be nice to [others] and to be glad I was alive. Today, nothing else mattered.