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.