The little girl with long, dark hair sat on the sofa and nestled protectively beside her parents as they took turns telling a remarkable story of how she fought epilepsy and how she has beaten it for a year and a half.
For 10 about minutes – not much longer – Autumn Forti listened patiently, perhaps reliving moments she would prefer to forget and maybe someday will. Her small, soft hands were folded in the lap of her ankle-length print skirt, and her shoulders were rolled forward ever so slightly, the way shy 9-year-olds scrunch down to make themselves smaller.
It wasn’t until her mother, Ann, remembered the conversation that the then-unexplained seizures might be attributed to a possible allergic reaction to the newest family dog – and that they might have to give away Taffy – that Autumn ended her silence and began to weep out loud.
Simultaneously, Ann and Scott Forti embraced their sobbing daughter and, almost in unison, said reassuringly, “But we didn’t have to, did we?”
No, they sure didn’t.