Tell us about a situation that was not funny at all while it was happening, but that you now laugh about whenever you remember it.

I have a dark sense of humor. Usually when the worst things have been happening in my life, I’ve found them funny. I honestly do not think other people would. Where did I get this? From my dad.

There are a lot of dark situations in life — Multiple Sclerosis is one of the darker ones. My dad was diagnosed in 1953, just a few months before my brother was born. My dad had had symptoms for a while; stumbling, falling for no reason, sudden moments of weakness, difficulty climbing stairs. He was a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Denver at the time, working on a Masters in Mathematics. His classroom was upstairs in building I’m not sure exists on the campus any more.

That was the 1950s and MS was more difficult to diagnose then (pretty much no one knew for sure until the patient died and doctors did an autopsy) and there were few treatments that effectively relieved symptoms. My dad knew he was in a tunnel of rapidly diminishing physical abilities and death.

“Who isn’t?” he said.

This philosophy has guided me through many dark times in my own life. From my father I learned to laugh at the nightmare. But you wouldn’t find it funny.

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