I’ve had afterthoughts, about what I could have, would have, should have said.  In those moments, my mind is processing the assault, that nearly left me for dead. 

A calculated stab at the heart of my soul, is far beyond anything I expected, and out of my control.  The attack is unmerciful, a burden to bear, exposing my imperfections, as though I didn’t care. 

I’m forced to acknowledge, and sign the accusations against me, by the judge and jury.  Scorned, shamed and shaking, I sign the injustice, with regret, in an unsteady, internal fury. 

I return to my desk alone, in disbelief, feeling the full weight, of what just took place.  I had made a mistake, and regretted feeling bullied, to sign a statement, that left me disgraced.


I’ve had afterthoughts, about what I could have, would have, should have done, instead of losing sleep, and risking my life, but it was my daughter.  I was young, out of my element, and numb.

It was 2:00 a.m. on a warm, summer night in 2007.  I’m parked up under a street light at 10th St. and Traub.  Surely, the unmistakable silhouette, of a passing driver, is my daughter, with little doubt.

I pursue her, crossing the road, passing tenant houses on Lynn, while flashing my headlights.  Nearing the dead end, she slows to a stop, realizing it’s her mother.  I leave my lights on, put my car in park, and exit onto the street, and into the dark.

She’s a beautiful sight for sore eyes, but she’s alone, stone faced and gaunt.  Three days in crack houses has left her hungry, broke and desperate, with a gas gauge on empty.

She agrees to drive to a nearby Speedway, for gas and a snack.  I so, want to believe she will follow me home.  I’m exhausted.  I can’t do this on my own.  Turning it all over to Jesus was so tempting.


I’ve had afterthoughts about what I could have, would have, should have been with each day that turns to weeks, months and years.  I often wonder, will tomorrow come, and where and to whom, will I begin with, to alleviate my fears?  I’d like to be resourceful, and of some good to my parents, husband, in-laws, children, siblings and friends. 

It’s always an inconvenience when a bridge goes out, forcing us to the right or left of our intended plans.  It’s another thing to unnaturally silence our voice, and lack in presence, as though we don’t care. 

I find myself distanced from family and friends at times, because I’m distracted with projects.  My work is pressing, family matters exist, home projects linger, shopping has to be done, and attending church and growth groups on Sundays leaves little free time for just relaxing.

God, grant me the wisdom to know the difference in the things I can and cannot change, to be a blessing, and to always be kind.


Joyce Lynn Eggleston

Indianapolis, IN – September 2018

Inspired by life’s afterthoughts.


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