Year 3, Day 187

It’s been a rough week. My uncle, who met Miles during our eventful trip to New York and back a couple years ago, passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. And Friday night, just as Jaclyn and I were getting ready to go to bed, news broke that actor Chadwick Boseman had also passed away.

When Miles met my Uncle George, he wasn’t really aware of who Mickey Mouse was yet. It was a few weeks before Christmas at the time, and my uncle had gotten Miles a present — a stuffed Mickey doll that, over time, became one of his favorite stuffed toys and a bedtime staple.

Back before Miles was born, I was on pins and needles not because of impending parenthood, but because his due date was the same day that Black Panther was going to hit theaters. When I would put my head to Jaclyn’s belly and speak to Miles in utero, I always said the same thing: “Please don’t come out before Black Panther.” As a joke*, I told Jaclyn that if she went into labor during the movie, our child would be named T’Challa and that was final. Miles ultimately arrived a week after we saw the movie, and even then it took considerable coaxing to get him out. I guess my encouragement worked.

I bring both of these up because, after being hit hard by both losses this week, I stepped into Miles’s bedroom to turn down his night light. This is how I found him in bed.

There, right next to him, were his Mickey Mouse and Black Panther dolls. Somehow, seeing Miles sleeping with those two favorites next to him was a better tribute to life and legacy than anything I could articulate myself.

Cherish every moment, folks.

* Joke…yes…of course...

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