Esther had a very rare genetic condition known as Aicardi Syndrome which left her severely developmentally handicapped from birth, and given the severity with which she had it it was really only a question of time (though that's true of all of us, in the end). I don't want to dwell on it as my family is dealing with it and continuing on with life, but I do think an explanation is warranted for this longest-yet break between posts.
Being a naturally cheerful person, I don't like ending a post on a downer note, so here's something I found funny: while back home for the memorial service I picked up one of our new Polish roosters to show a visiting uncle and aunt. My mom happened to have a hair band on hand and decided to put his head feathers up in a pony tail, and the resulting picture was just too funny not to share.
(And to explain the "beginnings" part of the title, I was privileged to be able to attend the wedding of one of my cousins this past weekend.)