Life Goes On

I left home at 17 and went to college in Boston.   It was there that I wore baggy jeans and Simple sneakers, gave up red meat for a year, stopped believing in God, questioned authority, and realized that if you don’t like something in your life it’s up to you to change it.

I returned to NJ after graduation and moved in with my parents.  My dad expected me to follow his rules, after four years of following my own, and so I moved out at 21 and got myself an apartment. 

It’s been my way or the highway ever since.

Don’t like my job?  Get a new one.

Don’t like my weight?  Change it.

Don’t like my house? Move.

Losing my mom has been the only thing that I have not been able to change.  I don’t want to be motherless.  I don’t want to raise children without their grandmother.  I don’t want to not have her here when I need her.  But I can’t change any of that.

That’s why I started this blog.  I was looking for a way to cope with something that I could not change.  All of my life I’ve been lead to believe that I am in control of my own happiness, and here I was, not happy and not able to change it.  I felt stuck.  I wanted my mother here and there was no way to make that happen and therefore, I would never be happy again.

I was wrong.  But I didn’t know it.  It took time.

For the first few years after her death, I felt like I was walking through a dark tunnel.  I was trying to get to the end, walking aimlessly with my arms out, reaching for anything that felt familiar, trying to figure out how to get out of this dark hell.  Every once in a while I grabbed a hold of something that brought me comfort-- a hobby, an achievement, a memory, a good time—and I thought, “Ok, Dana.  Move towards that.  That’s the right way.”  But then there were times when my eyes refused to acclimate to the darkness, and I lost hold of that good feeling, and I continued on my dark trek through the tunnel. 

Lately, however, the tunnel hasn’t been that dark.  It’s actually well-lit.  There are paintings on the wall and friends at every corner.  The ground is carpeted and the bathrooms are spotless.  The tunnel isn’t even a tunnel.  It’s a wide residential street with large leafy trees.  It’s a sunny day.  It’s jacket weather.  My daughter is riding her bike next to me.  My husband is holding my hand.  My dog doesn’t want to eat other dogs.  My daughter doesn’t have a potty mouth.  Greg isn’t lecturing me about leaving my purse on the kitchen counter.  I make a stop at Weight Watchers-I’ve lost 10 lbs this week!  How awesome.  Suddenly I’m jogging down the street.  I’m waving to people who are here to cheer me on.  My family is holding up signs.  My dad is smiling.  My sister is running next to me.  I’m the winner of the race.  The ribbon breaks against my stomach and I get a trophy and I’m laughing and we all break into a flash mob to Jessie J.’s Domino.

Maybe I can change this situation.  Maybe bringing my mother back is not the only way to be happy again.


Anonymous said...


Abbe said...

Your post is truth that life indeed does continue on.....through all the ups and downs there is even a wonderful life....a different wonderful....and yet a life that can brings smiles once again from the inside out.

Your Mom gave you foundation, you're building your house. xoxox

Anonymous said...

Dana, thinking of you all everyday and feeling your pain with the struggles of your daily life, but Greg and Leah will always be there for you and they love you the world and back - so life can be peachy again !!!

Mel and Mitchell xxx