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The trapeze made life in their home possible but their love was what made it enviable. Married at 22 sex had been a big part of their relationship. Gabrielle cooed over every baby that came her way and Adriel had looked forward to fatherhood, “Someday.”

On Christmas morning of 2000 Gabrielle had said, “I think I need to get my tubes tied.”

“What? What are you talking about?” Her stunned husband had asked. “You’ve been telling me since we got married how much kids mean to you! What’s this all about?”

“Oh, Adriel, you know what it’s about. My eyesight has gone from bad to practically nonexistent. How could I take care of a baby? Plus. Well you know what plus is,” she trailed off quietly.

“Plus what? That Stargardt’s is usually hereditary? Nobody else in your family is affected. If everyone in the world saw things a clearly as you do then it would be a much better place than it is. Besides, don’t I have any say in this?”

“What does that mean?”

“Okay, so just because I don’t talk about it like you do doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be a father. Someday. You have the Norplant plus we use condoms, I mean how exactly do you think you’re going to get pregnant?”

The condoms and Norplant, later Implanon, proved effective. For ten years they enjoyed an active love life free from unwanted, unplanned pregnancy. The subject of a more permanent solution came up every now and again but Adriel would always trump her concerns with, “There’s always hope.”

Once Adriel was diagnosed with ALS Gabrielle had a tubal ligation. “Well,” she said, “the bright side is no more condoms.”

“Yeah,” he had sighed. “That is the bright side.”

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