It is not what we endure that defines us, but who we strive to be regardless of what we endure. It is neither fortune nor fate nor the vicissitudes of life alone that distinguish us. We are instead the means by which we rise above the things we would rather not live through. At last we are the grace, the courage, the generosity we find despite bare pockets and depleted spirits. Our character in the face of great stress and greater distress is all we can control. This is our gift to ourselves, our children and the universe itself.