Before and After

That day.

That day our world changed. I wish we could have chosen a different adventure. A different ending. But it wasn’t that kind of story.

We rushed home from the doctor. Packed my bags for the strangest journey ahead. What do you pack when you don’t know where you’re going? How long? What was this for again?

Somewhere down the road a hospital bed was ready. Transfusions and biopsies and a toxic cocktail of medicine were waiting for me. For me.

We could not hold back the urgency. Just as we could not hold back the flood that swept through our house only days before. Strewn with wedding presents, muddy paw prints, unpacked honeymoon suitcases, and photos being hung to dry.

In the centre of the cacophony, we stopped.

We stopped.

Just you and me.

You held me.

And we wept.

Was this really happening? To me? To us?

I’m so sorry.

You can change your mind. It’s only been 11 days.

See that door? You can walk out of it.

You said it could just have easily been you and not me. You said if it had been you that I would have stuck to you like glue.

In that moment you became rock. And I became sand. And you tried so hard to stop me from crumbling. Just like you’ve done for 8 years now. I long to be solid again.

From that day those photos hanging to dry would be known as ‘before cancer’. In years to follow we would look at them with sweet nostalgia. Longing for our world to feel like that again. A small jealous notch would catch our breath as we would look at the people innocently smiling back at us.

And from that day our life was divided up this way.

Before and after.

Innocence and grief.

That day.

The day we met our souls.


  1. says

    Oh Deb.
    So,so powerful.
    I hope with all my heart that this journey takes you back to your strongest and brightest self. With your loving rock by your side, that love and strength is the best medicine.
    Lots of love to you. x
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    • Deb says

      Thank you Ms Midge. That day was 8 years ago – and yes I am well again (as far as cancer is concerned) – but emotionally I am still recovering. x

  2. says

    Breathtaking, Deb. There is such strength and beauty in your voice, in your words, hope that in time you will feel that strength through your whole being. You are amazing.
    Happylan recently posted..SoulmatesMy Profile

  3. Mary Arch says

    I am so sad about that dreadful line but I am also thankful that there has been so much after. Love you sis. Love that you’re here and writing this. Love that we still get to hear your voice. Love that your children were born and know you. Love that he was so strong and determined to hold on. Love that you didn’t give up fighting. xxx

  4. says

    What a ride you and your hub have been on the past eight years! I hope the next eight are less eventful, unless it involves winning tattslotto.
    Amazing writing Deb… You being sand, him being rock. Meeting your souls… Wow. xx
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    • Deb says

      It was tough, Kate. Even though it was so long ago, it is still there some days. Writing this has helped put in nicely away for awhile again.

    • Deb says

      Feels weird saying thank you to everyone commenting in this post. I am grateful for loving words – like yours – but I don’t want glory for writing it. I never want to exploit my heartache for glory on a blog post… if that makes sense. Why I am telling you this? Because you’re my friend and I’m comfortable telling you. x

  5. Susan Coin says

    Beautifully written Deb. I think sometimes we have to experience dark times to appreciate life’s joys. What wonderful joys you have with your bright and precious family and they are so lucky to have you.

    • Deb says

      Thank you Sue. I wish we didn’t have to have dark time to appreciate the joys – but you’re right, we cherish the joys and never take them for granted.


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