Darah Zeledon – Author

Spreading the Message of HOPE

A massive brain tumor snatched part of my hearing and almost took my life in 2006 while pregnant with my fourth child. I was away on medical leave for six weeks in New York City. Days after returning home to my children in Panama City, Panama, my youngest brother committed suicide.

Although we were stunned and devastated, and I was told to “keep calm because I had fresh wounds in my head,” I managed to stay strong for my family, especially my husband and three tiny children. The next six years were defined by a series of hardships that included two armed robberies, financial devastation and a gruesome bike accident. These years threatened my sanity, compelled me to question the practice of my faith, and eventually led me to find purpose and vision in all the pain and adversity.

My mission now is to inspire others by sharing the pearls of wisdom that got me through it all. The context of my work suggests a paradigm shift. I believe hardship trains you to emerge stronger, bolder and more resilient. And only because of the adversity, heartache and all I had to learn about being a grown-up, I am living the dream as others feel empowered by my message of courage, faith and hope.

I must admit that the blessing of the burden of caring for my five children got me through it all. Each day I challenged myself to stay sane to keep them free from trauma despite our lives come undone. I played tricks with my mind; as bad as things were, deep down I knew the only direction to go was up. Since I couldn’t control all that was happening externally, I kept my focus on the mundane, on carrying on with daily routines and rituals that comprised our little world.

One of the pearls of wisdom that helped me through was I’d wake up as if yesterday’s bad luck didn’t exist. I accepted our dismal situation, yes, but had my head lost in the belief that one day it would all turn around. And then three years went by of this kind of thinking and one day, it all did.

As for my dream, I’ve always liked to write yet never realized how much I missed it until the day my husband said why not start this thing called a blog?” And so four years later I gave birth to Girl with the Crooked Smile—Stuck in a Moment, a memoir. It’s a story that reveals what it really takes to weather life’s storms. I had accrued a huge following on my blog and everyone encouraged me to keep going, to keep telling my story. To my delightful surprise, the way I handled my struggles inspired them to better confront their own—although admittedly, I was compelled to write because we couldn’t afford psychotherapy at the time!

To learn more about Darah, click here.

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