Although it was three years ago that we received Celia's diagnosis, our lives are not neatly divided into before and after, there's not one day when a bomb hit and everything changed. It was a slow circling of the drain -- knowing something was wrong, realizing how very wrong it was, watching her spiral downward. To borrow from Hemingway, it happened “gradually and then suddenly.” It used to feel like the earth was bobbing and weaving beneath our feet, spinning, and dragging us along with it. There was a period of time when a good investment meant no longer contributing to her 529 but instead purchasing big sunglasses to hide the tears in public.
Today there is not nearly as much misery attendant to her condition, another development that seems to have occurred gradually and then suddenly. We know, now, that sorrow can be the parent of joy we never imagined. We credit her with the redirection of our outlook, but it's also due, in large part, to her brothers. This one certainly offers an awesome example of radical optimism for all of us.