Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Not to toot my own horn, but I have been told numerous times in my life that I have a great smile, even though I've always been a little self conscious about my giant teeth and wide grin.  When I am truly happy, my eyes crinkle up and my entire face smiles.  Sometimes, I smile wide-eyed and excited with a mouth so big it looks like it could swallow an entire cupcake in one bite.  (and it has tried)  In pictures, those who know me can tell when I am smiling from actual happiness and when I am smiling simply because someone is taking a picture.  Here are a few examples of real smiles.


In each of these pictures, I am truly happy.   It was a good day.  I can see the joy in my eyes.  In pictures I have taken recently, that joy is gone.  I can tell.  Maybe you can't.   Maybe you've seen a picture posted on Facebook and you think to yourself, "Hey, Rebecca looks happy.  It's good to see her smiling again."   But, if you were to look - to really look - at those pictures and then compare them to the ones above, you'd see it too.  There's a dullness in my eyes now that isn't in the pictures here.   My mouth is smiling, but that's it.  My heart isn't in it.  How could it be?  
I miss the joy I felt in these pictures.  I miss being carefree and happy.  I am trying so hard to find that joy again.  I am usually a very cheerful person, and so I am not really sure what to do with a heart full of sorrow.  It's heavy and confusing.  I've kind of developed this "Fake it till you make it" attitude.  I put on a good front when I have to.  I take a deep breath, open my eyes, and smile wide, hoping no one will notice that it's not real.  That I'm lying.
But, what else can I do?   Cry all day long?  No one wants to deal with a constant sobbing mess.  I don't want to be a constant sobbing mess.  So, I smile.   Even though I don't feel like it.  Even though I don't know if I'll feel like it ever again.  I smile.   I smile because I figure if I do it enough, if I try hard enough, the happiness that lies buried deep inside me will finally burst through the mountain of sadness that has sits so heavy on top of it.  And, yes, there is happiness somewhere down there.  Leftover happiness from my life before loss.   It wasn't decimated by Kenley's death, but it was shoved WAY down deep.   Maybe, if I just keep smiling, I'll find it again.   It reminds me of this song, which was never more true than it is right now.


  1. I could have written this same exact post. You nailed it with this one. I think I tell myself "fake it till you make it" at least 4 times a week. Let's hope we can both find that joy again some day in the future.

  2. I noticed. You will smile for real again one day, but it will probably never be the same - duh, of course it won't. That was a stupid comment. Anyhow, when I saw your smile in a recent post, I noticed that, but it is a start. You're forcing your muscle memory to recall what it felt like and one day it may be closer to your genuine huge grin. I can imagine times in your future life when something will cause your face to break in to that huge grin. You may even catch yourself wondering how that happened, but it will. When I saw that recent fb pic it reminded me of the lesson that some teachers do with thier students about bullying. The one where they have the figure of the person (like a gingerbread or candyland game piece) that they tear up and then put back together to show that it never goes completely back together. That is how I imagine it will be. You know my optimism has been known to be misguided but I really do imagine you and Mike with your wide smiles once again. With love, Tracey