There are events that can mark your life as the division of “life before” and “life after”…..
I remember the first time I heard my mom say, “that was before daddy died”. I don’t remember my exact response, but based on stories of my reactions as a 10-year old confused little girl, I likely stormed out of the room and slammed my door. Anger? Fear? Denial? Heartbreak?
Life before daddy died was innocent. Safe. Predictable. Like many childhoods. Softball and swim practices, holidays with cousins and birthdays with friends, summers on Cape Cod and winters bundled up in snowsuits sledding until dusk.
There was no thought of after. No consideration that the certainty of life could be grabbed from us so violently. No warning signs or preparation. Just after. He died. After daddy died.
And so the memories of my 38 years of life are placed in 2 distinct boxes. One labeled Before and one labeled After. Not on purpose. Not because it helps heal or process or categorize. But because that is just what happens. And so I enter my 28th year in the After box. And I still find myself longing for the innocence, the safety, the predictability. But that was Before.