When this is over …

It seems we humans tend to not appreciate things—like, our good health, or our people, or a way of life, or our freedoms—until we lose them.


Photo: Marlys

Once upon a time, I was in a living situation where we were allowed one shower a week. To this day, I am overly grateful for hot showers.

Through the years, but particularly as my husband, Gary, was dying of cancer, I’ve tried to practice gratitude for those things (and especially those people) I would miss if I were to lose them.

In this thoughtful poem, Laura Kelly Fanucci expresses my sentiments exactly:


When this is over

May we never again take for granted

A handshake with a stranger

Full shelves at the store

Conversations with neighbors

A crowded theater

Friday night out

The taste of communion

A routine checkup

A school rush each morning

Coffee with a friend

The stadium roaring

Each deep breath

A boring Tuesday

Life itself.


When this ends,

May we find

That we have become

More like the people

We wanted to be

We were called to be

We hoped to be

And may we

Stay that way — better

For each other

Because of the worst.


When is a tree much more than a tree?


What if we could live fully in the small moments?


  1. Irene Kain

    What an excellent message! Thank you!

    • I don’t know who Laura Kelly Fanucci is, but her words expressed my sentiments exactly. Blessings to you, Carol, during this season.

  2. sally slick

    Perfectly states, Marlys! Yes! I would like to share this please?

  3. What a great reminder. And your illustration shows you are making the most of it and finding creative and fun ways to bring your message to the rest of us! Made me laugh. Thanks

  4. Allison J McCormick

    So beautiful stated. I do believe we can rise from this darkness better for the experience. Thank you for sharing!

  5. stan

    Great stuff! Great picture!

    • Stan, people in Bend tend to dress up the outdoor artwork. I’ve seen that same logger with a full Santa’s beard, red hat with white trim, and twinkly lights. Haha!

  6. Thank you for this Marlys. Loved the illustration! And the poem is delightful.

  7. Peter

    The beautiful verse is so thought provoking. It took me to 1956/7 when I was doing odd jobs for families of military officers serving in the Middle East (I.e. The Suez crisis). One such officer – Lt. Col. Wooley was to give me my reference (to enable me to join the Police Service). He handed me the sealed reference, he looked me square in the eyes and shook my hand (a real sincere hand shake) and he said, “Remember Peter, a stranger is the friend you’ve yet to meet”. I took this to heart and into my Police Service and I do believe it’s served me well for my service and in fact my life… so far. Now today & everyone’s concerns… My Barbara & I take her much needed, once a day stroll, to help her fitness. We reach the village and the few shops, I get us a coffee & we sit in the little garden to drink it and take in the passing traffic and folk. I do think that our actions ( sitting there in the garden like Derby & Jones) has created a picture which people react to, with a smile, a passing of the day, a ‘hello’, basically people being friendly & caring. I know we appreciate their caring & we will remember ‘How it was at the time of Covid 19’. We pray we will all pull through this worrying time. Our love & prayers, Bx P &a family.

    • Peter – I can just picture you and Barbara in that little garden in your English village with your coffee and a cheerful word for the people as they pass by! And this “picture” brought a smile to my face. Blessings to you both during this challenging season.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2024 Marlys Johnson