Every parent wants to do it right. But just as any community member of Beit T’Shuvah knows, just because a person wants something, doesn’t make it so. We all have plans for how we want our life to look and then a curveball, or many, get thrown in our path. This was the case for Dana Gache, a mother who had every intention of “doing it right,” yet found herself confused and afraid when her two children ended up as addicts and eventual Beit T’Shuvah residents. Her journey, resilience and grace are qualities any family member of an addict can be inspired by.
Dana was born and raised in Los Angeles, right around the corner from Beit T’Shuvah. Her mother, her children, and Dana, herself, all attended Hamilton High School. Today, she is a hardworking and talented hairdresser. Though Dana is not an addict, she is very familiar with the world of recovery. Her husband is in recovery as well as her two children—who are happy alumni of Beit T’Shuvah. “Every parent thinks they’re going to do it right, they’re savvy and they know, and I’m telling you— it’s impossible,” she says.
When Dana’s children were in their early teenage years, she started to suspect there might be substance abuse, but didn’t want to pressure her children. She had hoped they would find their way. As it turned out, things got worse for the family. Dana had heard of Beit T’Shuvah through one of her clients and eventually joined the community While Dana grew up Jewish, like so many, it didn’t mean anything to her. Since becoming a part of the BTS community over the past decade, she has “found my Jewish soul here.” Dana goes on to share the power of Beit T’Shuvah by explaining that “the congregation, the community…they carry me. I still struggle with a higher power but I know that there’s something.”
When Dana joined the Beit T’Shuvah community, she also joined Al-Anon (a 12 step program for family members of alcoholics) and The Sisterhood (a Beit T’Shuvah contingent focussed on building the community). For Dana, “being in Al-Anon is incredible, because my friends and I can talk about anything together.” She truly believes that Al-Anon is her “saving grace,” but she has found her passion in the Beit T’Shuvah’s Sisterhood program. The Sisterhood are “friendraisers” for the congregation. They build community through social mixers, evening parties, and specialty events. Dana says,“when I come in on Friday nights it takes me 20 minutes to get to my seat, and even then I feel bad, like I should be over there talking to so-and-so.”
Dana is now at the helm of The Sisterhood with a great amount of responsibility. One of the most important events the sisterhood is behind is producing the annual holiday boutique; a fundraising event that hosts local artists and vendors and all the proceeds go to raising funds for the residents. In the past, Dana and her best friend, Jody, were both leading the sisterhood, however tragedy struck this past year and Jody passed away after an arduous battle with cancer. Dana carries on leading the sisterhood because she believes in it and wants to honor her friend.
Dana has faced adversity. But instead of letting it overtake her, she found her resiliency and today is a beacon of hope for anyone who might be struggling with addiction in their family. Dana’s children, once lost and hopeless addicts, are now making their mother proud. One of them is a valued employee of Beit T’Shuvah and the other is beginning grad school to be a therapist. At Beit T’Shuvah, Dana was able to find guidance, faith, purpose, hope, a sisterhood, and most importantly her family. We are a better place because of her presence.
Please join us at the Holiday Boutique, December 1st at 10am in the Beit T’Shuvah Sanctuary.