In one convulsive second, when the crying infant still tethered to her by an umbilical cord was placed on her stomach, all her ‘befores‘ dissolved.
The child catching grasshoppers in the tall grass at her grandmother’s farm, the teenager with a crush on one of her teachers, and the woman picking flowers for centerpieces on her wedding day, were gone.
When her brand-new daughter was brought to her, all clean, perfect, and ready to nurse, their eyes met.
“Hello, Ellen. I can’t wait to get to know you.” she whispered.
She had no doubt that a blessed transformation had taken place and her life, from that moment forward, would wholly be defined by ‘afters‘.