How One Mom Inspired Millions With a Single Poem

Are you looking for hope? Weighed down by the current crisis and looking for some inspiration? Well, Laura Kelly Fanucci, a Catholic mom, writer, and regular Relevant Radio® contributor, has inspired millions with a poem that she wrote shortly after the birth of her son.

You may have already seen it, since her poem went viral and was shared by celebrities, politicians, and people around the world. The poem is called When This is Over.

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, the 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.

Fanucci stopped by Morning Air® recently to share how she wrote the poem, and why it struck such a chord with so many.

She explained that she wrote the poem in the middle of the night, and that in a certain way she owes the poem to her baby, Xavier. She said, “I was up in the middle of the night nursing him, and I was really finding myself getting anxious as a mom. You know, I think it was about the third week of March and there was so much bad news. I just didn’t know what sense to make of this.”

“I was up and trying to pray and not doing a real great job of it,” she recalled. “And since I’m a writer and since I have a lot of kids, I will actually write on my phone a lot. So I just pulled that out and I started thinking … how might we come out of this with some hope, with changes for the better? Not just that we’re trying to get back to the way things were, but maybe we can take care of each other better as a society going forward. Once in a while, as a writer, the words just kind of come, and that poem just sort of came to me.”

Fanucci recounted how she remembered the next day that she had written that poem in the middle of the night, and thought she should share it in case others were feeling the way she was. She thought it might give someone some hope. So she put it on social media and went about her busy day.

“By about mid-afternoon I started noticing I was getting a lot of messages from friends like, ‘I just love that poem. I’m sharing it.’ And when I went online to check, it had like thousands and thousands of shares. And I started realizing this is really striking a nerve with people. I can’t believe this.”

As exciting as it was to have her poem shared so widely, Fanucci said she was particularly touched by messages of how her poem inspired individual people and families.

“I got so many incredible emails about teachers who were using it to help their kids make sense of what was going on,” she said. “And a couple high schools said, ‘Can we print this in our yearbook? Because our kids are really struggling and we really feel like this might speak to them.’ And I had a woman who made a quilt and wrote the words of the poem on the quilt. Because that was her art and that was what helped her make sense of this time.”

“It’s just incredible, in such a difficult time, to have been able to share some hope. I think that is 100% the Holy Spirit.”

Listen to the full conversation with Laura Kelly Fanucci below:

Morning Air can be heard weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. Central on Relevant Radio and the Relevant Radio App.