Seeing Through New Eyes: Are You Okay?

In the days following the accident, the world outside seemed so disconnected. As I moved between the hospital and the outside world, stopping for coffee or filling up the car, it felt surreal—how could life just carry on? How could people laugh and chat so freely, drive carelessly on icy roads, when our own world had come to such a jarring halt?

The lens through which we viewed the world had narrowed, sharpening our focus onto our children, our fears, our welter of emotions. But a revelation struck me with the force of clarity today: everyone is carrying something, bearing battles unseen, moving through the day with their own weighty stories.

I would pass by strangers, wondering how they couldn’t see the grief written all over me. Yet, some did. In their glances, there was an understanding. Every interaction seemed to circle back to a single inquiry: “How are the kids?” and “How are you coping?” The concern has been a comfort, a gesture I’m deeply thankful for.

But today was different. Today I learned that someone who’s been an anchor of support for us has been silently grappling with their own crisis. And in my own turmoil, I failed to see it. I didn’t ask the simple but profound question, “Are you okay?”—and truly mean it. It’s a miss I deeply regret.

Moving forward, the thought of engaging in small talk feels distant. I find myself yearning for genuine connection, to understand what’s beneath the surface for others, particularly if they’re facing challenges. While I might not have the means to fix their problems, I’ve come to realize the power of simply being there—listening, seeing, and acknowledging can be profoundly comforting. Messages that once served as light entertainment now serve as a balm to the soul.

They say experiences like this transform you, and I hope it’s a transformation for the better. I hope to become a better listener, to read the unspoken in someone’s eyes, to ask sincerely, “Are you okay?”

To our friend who has been quietly suffering, know that our thoughts and prayers are with you, as yours have been with us. We are here for you.

To all our friends new and old. Are you okay?

Craig – Jennifer, Bryce, Brody, and our brave Brooks and Lauren

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