I'll always remember how difficult it was for Mitch to bend over and gather leaves. Sometimes he would lose his balance, fall to the ground, then struggle to stand up again. His muscles were wasting away and I was powerless to stop it. As his friends were getting stronger, he was getting weaker. I began to see how often I took for granted what he struggled so hard to enjoy. I never imagined the gentle teacher I discovered in my little boy.
I remember asking, “Mitch, can I help you gather leaves?” Mitch said quietly, “No, it’s okay, Dad. I want to do it myself.” As I sat and watched my boy struggle, I fought back the tears and said a prayer in my heart that heaven might save my son from certain death – for he was a good soul and the world needed more people like him. Heaven saw things differently and took my boy away – for there was work to do, I suppose, in places I cannot say.
The ancient Roman philosopher Cicero once observed, “Gratitude is not only the greatest virtue but it is the parent of all others.” Among this little boy’s virtues, gratitude was chief among them … for he never saw his glass half empty, nor did he see it half full. He was just grateful there was something in it.
Mitch taught me gratitude is always greater.