A strange but miraculous thing happened the other day. I was washing the dinner dishes in our kitchen while my youngest son was watching television in the living room. Suddenly, I heard an old song from my childhood playing in a commercial. As the sweet music drifted into the kitchen. I found myself humming along, singing a few words, and even doing a little dance step or two while I placed the plates in the dish rack. Then it occurred to me that this was the first time I had danced in a very long while.
In the days following my Dad’s death I had done my best to live again. I had hugged my children and told them I loved them. I had petted and played with my dogs. I had watched the Autumn leaves with their beautiful colors and taken in a few sunsets as well. Yet, through it all I had felt like I was just muddling along. My heart was still hurting and my moments of joy were few and far between. More than once I would be on the road, pass an old, beat-up, blue pickup truck like my Dad used to drive, and tear up. I missed him so much. It was so hard not having him here in my life anymore.
When I found myself dancing again even for a second, however, I realized that I was doing just what my Dad would have wanted me to do. He would have been mad at me for wallowing in my sorrow. He would have wanted me to dance again, to sing again, to smile again, and to laugh again. He would have wanted me to choose joy again and share it with others. He would have wanted me to LIVE and to LOVE here on Earth while he and God looked down on me from Heaven. And in that miraculous moment of wisdom my heart began to heal.
I promise you Dad that I will continue to heal. I will continue to sing. I will continue to dance. I will continue to say “yes” to life and to live in God’s love all the days I have left here.
By Joseph J. Mazzella