I apologize for the following personal note in the midst of a Calculus blog.
Writing a book is a large commitment. You have to have a bigger reason than possible financial reward for writing. And I did. I looked at my beautiful, bright daughters and wanted them to have this book when they were ready to explore Calculus. Chris Adamson, friend and co-editor on several O’Reilly sites said something similar when I was wavering on writing it. He wanted to put it away for his children.
The number of things we have put away for our children.
Maggie Rose, my eldest, has already proofread the first chapter and given it her approval. She’s nine but I truly value her opinion. Elena Maxine loved the pictures. She loved that her dad could write books. There was so much that she loved and expressed. She was a beautiful, happy, loving child who died yesterday afternoon suddenly.
As Kim and I sat up last night crying and holding each other, I asked what the point was of continuing the book. She said “you need to dedicate it to her”.
I’ve co-written nine books now and never dedicated one to my children. This was to have been the one. I suppose it will be.
I will need help writing this. I will need help for lots of things I suppose. Yesterday it didn’t feel real. Today it feels insurmountable.
It’s certainly a discontinuity. It’s odd because it oscilates between feeling like a vertical asymptote that I’ll never surmount and a removable discontinuity – she’ll wake up soon and be with us again. Of course it’s a jump discontinuity. Something dramatic happened yesterday and life is changed. I’m just not sure how yet.
I don’t know if this is common to mathematicians – but having a deep understanding of the infinite makes me profoundly afraid of death.
In any case, I hope you will forgive this personal intrusion. I have started a personal blog to work this through at Dear Elena.