Other than the months surrounding placing my dad in the care home, I’d only been persistently sad, day after miserable day for a period of months, one other time in my life. It was my first year in college, my first experience away from home. I was living by myself in a drab apartment, in a new town, taking difficult math and science courses.
I was lonely and overworked and overwhelmed. It rained incessantly. A beloved grandmother-figure died.
I struggled hard to find my usual sunny disposition, and eventually gave up. I resigned myself to numbing unhappiness in a joyless world.
Calendar days marched by. I went to class, I came home, I studied. I lived in a dreary grey cloud of unhappiness and hard work.
And then one day, as I trudged down the sidewalk towards the bus stop, head down, eyes unseeing, I suddenly realized I was humming a song.