Just a few more weeks with the beakers, simulation runs and meetings with the Board, and Dimitri would finally be able to make it up to his family - his lovely Anya, and little Sasha, already walking!
He had missed the great event - Sasha's first step. Dimitri noticed that Sasha no longer attempted her awkward goodbyes, seeming to take her father's absence in the home as a given, and his wife's near-obsessive work in the flower bed was clearly her way of compensating for an absentee husband. So Dimitri counted all time relative to the breakthrough he saw coming - the grand event that would make his name in the halls of academia but, more importantly, allow him to dote on his wife once again and serve as a second witness to the little miracles of Sasha's development.
Had Dimitri fully understood the gravity of his work, he would have been more careful, used more precautions. His next discovery was that the work which had already taken so much of his life would now take the rest - he had leukemia. His family would be cared for in his absence and Sasha would grow up in the shadow of her father's name. Their flower bed did well the next year.