THE PASSAGE OF TIME

Tomorrow night marks the anniversary of a sacred time in my life. I'll never forget how the weight of grief settled on my shoulders the night my son passed away. The heavens, it seemed, grew dark and all became black. It was only in that moment of pitch darkness that my spiritual eyes began to adjust and I started to recognize what seemed like little flecks of light. Only these flecks were symbolic of tiny blessings. It didn't take long for me recognize how many of those blessings were connected to each other. What I discovered in my moment of darkness was Heaven was always there; guiding and directing our lives to shape us into better beings.

As I reflect on the life and loss of my son, I also recognize the many tender mercies that accompanied his difficult journey. If Mitch was not alone, then I think it's safe to say none of us are either.

I am reminded that when things get especially dark, I must pray for eyes to see things as they truly are. Then, and only then, can we get a glimpse of a much grander design. To our pleasant surprise, we will begin to see Heaven's tender mercies spread across the passage of time.

 
 

OUR FIRST BOOK

Our first book is almost ready. I haven't settled on a title yet, but the story centers around Mitchell and his puppy and what happens when we give.

I hope to have the first edition at this year's #milesformitchell run on April 23rd. I'm also wrapping up a book [not intended for children] that is a candid, chronological story of #mitchellsjourney- I hope to have it ready by mid-summer. This fall we should have a book of photos and essays ready to print.

This first children's book will be part of a larger series aimed at younger children. At the back of every book will be at least one essay and photo that was the origin of the story. 

Hopefully, there'll be something for kids and adults.

The first edition will be limited because I want to get feedback from early readers about what worked and didn't work. I've never written a children's book before - so I have a lot to learn.

My hope is that when kids and adults read the stories they will try to implement something new and positive in their lives.

HOPE, HEALING AND FINDING HAPPINESS

What you see here are two prototype books of Mitchell’s Journey: Essays on Hope, Healing and Finding Happiness. For the last 6 months I have been quietly putting these together. 

This isn't a ploy or an attempt exploit my tragedy – any suggestion of such is foolishness. One need only read this page [even superficially] to know I would rather give to others freely, to lift a heavy heart and love others more than anything. I take no delight in having put these together – in fact, these two bodies of work are the product of deep agony, many tears and a heart that stretches toward the heavens in search of peace. I would have given my life to never have cause to write. I just want my little boy back – and I am pained that I cannot.

Some have commented that there is no need to write a book – for each entry here would seem to suffice – at least it would seem their cup comfortably. Others respond in-kind that a book would reach others who do not use Facebook.

I am going to try to do things with Mitchell’s Journey that are calculated to bless others’ lives – and some of you may want to participate. I am not interested in income, I have a job. But I am interested in outcomes. For every heart that’s lifted, for every life that is blessed, my heart bursts with gladness. I believe the old aphorism “a rising tide lifts all boats.” And as the tide of awareness rises, others who have DMD will surely benefit. 

There are still miles to go with these books. I don’t even have a publisher, yet. I approach this task with a measure of trepidation, for I am the weakest of all. I recently wrote in an earlier post that I am no teacher, I’m just a student with a heavy backpack. These books are my homework … homework of my soul. Each page soaked with salt and tears.

Between now and when I find a publisher, I will focus on the purity of Mitchell’s Journey and its message of hope, healing and finding happiness. When the time is right I’ll take the next step toward publishing. But for now, for those who are curious and have been asking, know that I am working on this – not for me, but that others may be blessed. I am also working on a few other things that I will share in due time. Things, too, I hope will bless lives.

A portion of the book sales will be donated to Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), the organization that raced to try and save Mitch. Another portion will be reserved to help Mitchell’s Journey accomplish its own mission, which is not only to raise awareness of DMD but to share a message that transcends life and death ... a message of love, family and faith. 

There was no master plan with this journey. It was just a simple Facebook page with 80 followers who wanted to keep tabs on my son. In the grand scheme of things, this page is just a pebble in a vast ocean; certainly nothing to boast about. But if this journey can help raise the tide of awareness an inch or two, if it can lift a person out of despair, or to help someone see the world with new eyes … then it is all worth it.

I really don’t want any of this. I would rather be invisible if that meant I could have Mitch in my arms, if I could kiss his cheeks and hear his voice. That is what I want. But such was not my lot. I was given a different lot, and a heavy lot it is.

Though my heart is broken I have hope. Each day I am healing and finding happiness. I hope, through Mitchell’s Journey, others do, too.