Our last-ditch IVF cycle to have a baby after five failed IVF attempts were originally scheduled to begin on 9/11/2001. It was delayed when Lisa’s cycle was off, and my kneejerk reaction was that we weren’t meant to go.

When the first plane hit the World Trade Center we were still sleeping. A few hours later our phone blew up with calls from family telling us to turn on our television. Within minutes, it seemed like the entire universe descended into darkness.

We were told to live our lives but expect terrorist attacks to be the new normal. While everything around us screamed this was not the time to be birthing new life, Lisa’s resolve was hardened.

When we checked into the hotel room near Newark airport on 10/11/2011 the curtains were closed. After dragging our luggage in for the three-week stay, I opened the curtains to let in the light. What I saw made my heart crawl up in my throat.

Two wisps of black smoke snaked into the sky, the only remains of the iconic buildings that once towered over the NYC skyline. Two seconds after noticing the view she said “We’re not staying here. I can’t be here with that energy.”

We checked into an extended stay hotel closer to the infertility clinic we were going to with a much better vibe. Until the anthrax letters started. Lisa was allergic to the only antibiotic that could counter the effects of exposure, and I was anxious every time we walked by a mailbox.

Yet Lisa never wavered. Our fresh IVF cycle failed, but we froze two “poor quality embryos” the doctors said had very little chance of amounting to anything.

Ten months later our poor-quality embryo was born and seventeen years later she’s an aspiring singer-songwriter in New York City. As I write this, we live in the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. But our daughter shines her light with her music, and her words and music warm the hearts of family, friends and anyone who hear it.

We were told everything would change forever after 9/11 and in some ways it did. However, may of the worst predictions of those times simply never materialized. Pundits can be wrong, and though airport travel became a hassle our life largely returned to a new semblance of normal.

Doctors can also be wrong. They told us we had very little chance of conceiving based on the predictive models they used for embryo analysis. We’ve been parents now for seventeen years despite those medical projections.

The best thing you can do in a world of darkness is be a beacon of light. The world needs more of the love and passion of people who care so much about creating life that they sacrifice physical, financial, mental and spiritual stability to become parents.

I look forward to reading your success story and wish you success in bringing your own light into the world.

Denny C.