Then, Now and In-Between


Then: It was January, 1990 when I stood on the Gorge bridge outside of Taos, NM and while looking down imagined what it would be like climb over the rail and plummet a quarter mile to the river below. What I felt was relief … relief and a sense of freedom. Now I wonder, was it courage or a lack of courage that caused me to turn around and walk off the bridge that day?

Now: A friend sent me a picture, last week, of a much younger me. I was different then. I knew life was worth living. I didn’t question whether I mattered, had value or worth. I cried myself to sleep … cried for the person I used to be.

In Between: I think it was when I first heard the news of Beau Biden’s death that it suddenly struck me how unfair this all is. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could give up my seat on the bus to someone who wants to live and knows they have something to live for.

In honor of World Suicide Prevention Day and as a thirty year veteran of the dance, I challenged myself, surely there is something I can contribute to the conversation and something I can share with my fellow travelers.

I shared my concerns with a friend and she suggested that focusing on the dance might be precisely what I ought to contribute. You see, focusing on the act of suicide is like deciding what color to paint the house when the foundation is crumbling. I contend there is power in the dance. We are all touched by suicide. Shouldn’t we learn to dance with it?

7 Thoughts

  1. I would like for you to consider adding one more word to the title of this blog and one more paragraph. The word? Tomorrow. I don’t know the things that have transpired in your life that have hurt you so deeply, but like the Earnest Pugh picture you posted on the Facebook page along with the link to this blog, God wants you to be happy and to have an abundant, joyful life. A true relationship with Him, that will allow you to trust completely in his love for you. A relationship that will help you to move to that abundant life by asking Him to come into you life and heal you from the pain of the past and turn you towards a beautiful tomorrow. Tomorrow, where he will help you every step of the way to deal with whatever help you need. Tomorrow, where I pray it will be bright and beautiful for you. Tomorrow, where you will develop you photographic talents that you have shared with us and then share them with others who will benefit from them and be inspired by them. Tomorrow, the possibilities are truly endless.


  2. If you have the courage to continue that jarring tango with mental illness, and allow it to be recorded and shared with others, then I am very grateful you did not give up your seat on the bus.

    We who have partaken in this dance know there is no certainty in this life. I may have certainty in a life to come and I may know the comfort of God’s grace each day, but I also know that tomorrow could be sunny or tomorrow could look like a good day to walk into the waves and not stop.

    Just as I do not have power to rid myself of the arthritis in my knee, I do not have the power to rid myself of mental illness. But I do have the power to dance. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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