Day 111/365 Before and After

Facebook has a feature in which every day we have the opportunity to see the posts or photos we have shared in past years “on this day”.  I never posted very many pictures of my dad on Facebook simply because he wasn’t on Facebook to see them.  So I don’t get surprised by many photos of him that show up in this way.  What I have noticed, though, is that many times I will see photos from the past year and think, “Look at us, we had no idea what was coming. How can that be?” 

I am not sure why, but this photo of my mother and me from last summer struck me hard in this way. We look so happy. I search our faces for some indication that we had sensed a storm coming.

How could we have been having such a good time?

Why hadn’t we taken him with us?

We didn’t know.

We couldn’t have known. 

I guess that is exactly what is so disquieting…the recognition of the absolute fragility of our existence, and of our often complete lack of awareness of that.

Oh, the arrogance.

We tend to make assumptions about how our lives will play out, don’t we? When in reality we don’t have any idea what may happen next – to us or to the ones we love…

For better and for worse.

Not only are we not in control, not really – but we are also not promised any warning whatsoever when our world is about to be upended.

It can just happen – BAM.

Suddenly our memories – our lives – are divided into two distinct categories:

Before, and after.

I’m not suggesting we live our lives in fear, worrying about what may happen next.

We just don’t know.

We can’t know, so…

We have to make that okay – the not knowing.


I suppose when woken up to this reality there are different ways one might deal with it, such as…blissfully going to sleep to it again, or living fearfully, neither of which appeals to me.

So, this is what I’m choosing for now…

Saying Yes to more things.

Yes to the small things, like, “Can we have pie for breakfast?” 

Yes to the bigger things like, “Should I take this trip?”

Yes to speaking from the heart…in ways both small and big. That is something I know I will never regret.

I think what it boils down to is…

More joy, less worry,

More love, less angst.

More YES.

Summer goals.

{I’m a work in progress.}



One thought on “Day 111/365 Before and After

  1. Karen Sommer

    Dear Bethany, So many times I’ve wanted to write saying how beautiful your words and thoughts have hit me in the heart. We never know. You are sending and giving love to many people. The most important in life I feel is to give love to those you know and don’t know. Your Dad would be so proud of you and your grandparents too! Thank you for sharing. Karen Sommer❤️

    Sent from my iPhone