So much went right. So much went wrong.

I'd spent months successfully arranging our annual benefit, inviting over 1500 people worldwide to donate to epilepsy research, spent hours choreographing food and beverage and gift certificates and helpers and music. As the event approached and things fell into place I happily looked forward to seeing the smiling faces of 121 friends who said they were coming, some of whom I'd never met before.

But, with great vexation came the storm of the century—Nemo—though I held out hope that it would pass before the event started. I was watching the weather the way a day trader watches ticker tape. Several restaurants backed out because of the inclement weather, which caused me much fretting. I worried about not having enough food, worried about baby sitters cancelling, worried about my guests' safe travels.

Then right before we were to leave to go set up, Calvin had bad a seizure—a four minute tonic-clonic. He'd been in the bath again. His lithe body stiffened and convulsed, something it hasn't done for months, and in the absence of oxygen his lips, hands and toes turned dark purple as if they'd been stained by blackberries. It pained me to leave him in such a state—trembling and struggling to suck his thumb in the post ictal fog that follows the seizure. But I knew he was in good hands with his nurse, Beth, who tucked him in tenderly and watched him as he slept.

And so, Michael and I went downstairs and gathered the platters, the bowls, my gown and shoes, the veggies and cheese and crackers and raffle tickets ... and we left him, something I'm not sure we've ever done before. It was unnerving.

At that point I had no idea what to expect in terms of numbers of guests. The snow had stopped hours earlier and most of the roads had been cleared to some degree, though iced and slippery, but the wind still whipped in fits and starts. Snow banks and drifts, some as high as six feet or more, flanked the streets rendering the sidewalks impassable.

But, as if in perfect Calvin form—the kind of perseverance and determination we've seen him exhibit when first learning how to nurse, or struggling to hold his head up, or learning how to crawl, to chew, to stand, to walk, to rally after bad falls, prolonged seizures, days in the hospital, enduring endless seizures and debilitating anticonvulsant drug side effects—our determined friends shoveled for hours, rearranged childcare and tag teamed with their spouses just to get there to be with us and to celebrate Calvin's ninth spin around the sun.

In short, our guests kicked Nemo's ass, and with more hard work, generosity, determination and compassion, we'll kick epilepsy's ass, ta boot. Thank you for your charity and love.

Please join us and donate to CURE epilepsy at: http://www.calvinscure.com

Calvin, at six months, struggling to hold his head up


  1. That's a helluva post. And what you did was move heaven and hell. Congratulations.


  2. Dear dear angels in disguise! You had everything come down the road at once, and you miraculously prevailed. Congratulations on your amazing result.

    This must have been a herculean effort, and you pulled it off. Feel good, both of you!

  3. Gosh, I don't know what happened to my comment that I left yesterday. It was basically a cheer for you and everyone that made it to the party. I am so grateful to know you.