Joy Journey

I have asked myself this, I have questioned myself over and over again. How could one moment, one flash in time, take away all the joy and happiness in my life? My mom and I were driving down the street, in Manhattan, New York. We were coming home from ‘open mike night’ at a coffee house, where my mom had just won a competition and a prize of one-hundred dollars. Outside was cold and wet, due to the rain. The time was around nine o’clock at night and we had the right of way to turn onto our street. We were singing Joy to the World: “Joy to the world, all the boys and girls, joy to the fishes in the deep blue, joy to you and--,” ‘Crash.’ I remember flying into the airbag that popped out of the passenger door. I touched my leg; blood was covering my hand when I pulled it back. I touched my arm, once again, blood. I heard sirens and people talking. I heard a loud screeching noise, Jaws of Life. Nice people began talking to me. The people told me I would be okay, they told me to go to sleep and when I woke up, everything would be okay.

I woke up to beeping noises, the television playing in the background. I touched my leg, bandage. I touched my arm, cast. I didn’t know where I was, or what had happened. I had an IV in my arm. Hospital, I immediately thought. I pressed the HELP button, and a young male doctor came running. I remember asking him what had happened. He said I was in a car accident and I broke my arm, and a piece of glass went through my leg. I remember asking him where my mom was and if she was okay. He sighed and told me he was very sorry, but my mom had died at the scene. I cried, I cried more then I had ever cried in my life.


Two days later, I was released from the hospital. I went home to an empty Manhattan apartment. I had to pack’ the next day, I was leaving to go live with my dad. I went to school that morning. No one asked what happened, or why there was a cast on my arm. No one cares. No one cares about me, it’s like I am invisible. Invisible for seventeen years of my life. I only had two things which I cared about in my life. One was my mom. Two, was music and the lyrics. The music and the lyrics were the only thing that kept me same at my Manhattan city prep school.

The next morning I got on a plane and took off to what felt like the other side of the world—Ketchikan, Alaska. The flight was longer than anything I imagined. I got off the plane to a welcoming freezing chill of wind. I looked around, trying to find my father, and trying to remember what he looked like.

“Emma!” Someone shouted. I look around the people at the airport and see my father. “Emma,” he repeats. I walk towards him. He is much taller than I remember, he has a long, wispy beard and ruffled dark brown hair. He speaks with a very husky, deep tone.

“Hi,” I whisper.

“Nice to see you again Em,” he chuckled. He loved calling me my nickname from when I was five. I think it reminded him of all the good times back the, before the divorce. My parents were divorced when I was only seven years old and there was no reason. My dad just got up and left town. He moved to Alaska to fish and I came to see him for one week every year, for three years, then I never went back.

I knew two things when I came to Alaska. One, my life would be miserable because of my father. Two, I was going to have to go on a journey, a Joy Journey, as my grandmother called it. When someone loses their place in life, or loses someone important to them, they lose all the joy in life, in their surroundings and anything that would remind them of where they lost themselves in life.

My mission: exceed the unthinkable and exceed finding joy. Like I said, in New York, no one cared about me, no one knew who I was and I was nobody. I am going to start over, I am going to find friends, find where I need to be and where I need to go in life, starting now. This will be my Joy Journey’ and I will find the joy in life again.





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