Errol Milner Clifford 2006-2009

Errol Milner Clifford was born with a significant heart defect and a cognitive disability that prevented him from walking or talking. As we grieved the child we had anticipated, Errol’s full-bodied smile and irrepressible laugh turned our sorrow into joy, and taught us that many of the best things in life are unexpected. Inspired by Errol’s delightful spirit, friends, family, and neighbors rallied to support our family’s significant emotional, physical, and financial needs, through countless acts of selfless generosity. When Errol’s courageous heart finally failed him on December 23, 2009 we were left numb with grief. In these dark hours we listen hopefully for the echoes of Errol’s brilliant laugh. This blog is the story (starting from present and working back to Errol's birth) of the life and times of the amazing Errol Clifford.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Punctuated Equilibrium

Punctuated equilibrium is a theory in evolutionary biology that evolution doesn’t proceed in a straight line, but rather moves in fits and starts. Errol (and most children, I believe) has grown in just this way: a slow burn most of the time, followed by a sudden great leap forward. This isn’t always the easiest thing to watch, because with Errol, I’m always scared that he is going to be stuck right where he is, permanently, unable to walk or talk (we’re not real concerned about his ability to smile or poop). So when it seems like Errol is sitting still, I try not to panic, and think of him, instead, preparing for his big jump. Today was a good day for the Little Man. If we surround him with pillows, and prop him up, Errol can “sit” up on the sofa. He loves the feeling of being up on his own, and smiles the whole time. I always try to be grateful for all I have (my family, my friends, my work, soy milk), but watching Errol so proud on the sofa, and so hard at work, my gratitude enlarges.

This is a picture of Errol and his cousin, Rosabelle, sitting up on the sofa.