No Promises

A girl that I know, about as well as you know anyone that isn’t a close friend, made an announcement on Facebook the other day. Her son had been diagnosed with a significant, life-altering illness about six month previous, and they were seeking some expert advice. She asked for prayers.

Tonight, New Year’s Eve, she posted a picture of her kids at the beach and mentioned that it was from “before.”


I remember the days when my life was divided by before and after. When Charlie was just a tiny baby I would look at picture of my me and my husband and would think “that was before.”

Before I had a disabled child.

Before I knew the scent of a hospital so intimately.

Before I knew that babies died and not just sometimes–but often.

That was “before Katy” and I would look at her in pictures and would envy her. She had no idea that one day her life would be so different.

I wanted to send the Facebook girl an email, but I didn’t. Wanted to reach out, but for whatever reason I didn’t.

I wanted to tell her that one day there were be a life where there’s no before and after. Well, maybe not NO before and after, but a day where you realize that your life hasn’t been divided into two pieces. You are you–there aren’t two versions. One day you won’t look at pictures and think of the “before” you. It will just be you. You with a life that’s had ups and downs, and goddamn left turns, but still you. You that loves, and sleeps, and bitches and moans, and counts your blessings.

Just you.

I don’t know when, but one day you won’t envy the “before” you, but will realize that she was just you a little earlier in the journey.

Wishing a little peace to everyone still in two pieces–may you feel whole again one day soon.


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  1. :)

  2. Finding peace in the pieces of life that make up your journey is the most difficult and yet most revealing thing that we all go through. Very well written, Katy.

  3. I love this. It’s something I haven’t given much thought to lately . . . which is telling, but now that I read this, I realize that like you, I’ve stopped looking at those pictures and immediately thinking “that was me BEFORE.” Or even looking at tiny baby pictures of Sammie B and thinking “that’s BEFORE we knew.” Just as you say. . . it was just me THEN. and her, then. in all her deliciously cute glory. I just typed to a friend today . . . this life is such a beautiful one. Not necessarily easy, but so, so beautiful. And this post tonight drives that point home for me. xo

  4. Beautiful words, Katy. Your writing is a gift, thank you.

  5. This is such a beautiful and thoughtful post, and it’s been my experience that the letting go of who I was “before” happened gradually, perhaps of necessity but probably more because I realized that my essence, or who I am is largely unchanged. In year twenty-one of “after,” I’m groping my way to uncovering more of that essence or light or essential “me.” I think that looking at old photos of “before,” is a bit like a ritual, and rather than using that ritual in a sort of worship, I look kindly and compassionately at the “before” me, shake my head and feel a bit in awe of what happened. Does that make sense?

  6. Love this post. Thank you.

  7. Well said.
    I missed your writing.