Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

What the Worst Day Looks Like

And how I got out of bed the next day.

Danell teNyenhuis Black
Published in
8 min readAug 30, 2020


A quiet house

April 20, 2016, started differently. I woke up around 6:45 to a silent house. My husband, Patrick, either ran or rode his bicycle every morning before work. He left while I was still sleeping. I would occasionally wake up briefly, but sometimes I slept through it entirely. He usually left around 5:45 and returned by 6:30 or a little after. I thought it was odd, but I had a conference call at 7:00, and I needed to get ready for it.

I quickly changed into my day-pajamas — Capri-length sweat pants with a stripe down the side, sports bra, and a t-shirt. I ran into the loft, turned my computer on, and then asked my 17-yr-old daughter, Camille, to check the garage to see if her dad’s bike was in there. And then I dialed into my call.

Camille went downstairs and came back a few minutes later to tell me the bike was gone. Uggghh. He was very proud of his old, beat-up bike. I don’t remember when he bought it, but it could have been in the mid to late ’90s. I was pretty sure I was going to have to get off my call and rescue him. My customer would probably be okay with my absence, but I worried the sales team would be annoyed. I could ask Camille, but she needed to get to school.