‘Smile’…….See Miracles In Life Everyday 😊

This is my last writing and photo taking task in the photography course called ‘illuminate’ guided by the very talented photographer Beryl Ayn Young – lighting the way to photographic healing. I was asked to think of a one word mantra that would help me get through the next coming year. I had to search for the letters in that one word in everyday objects around the house, office, garden, anywhere where your journey took you. I had to think outside the box in order to find the letters. You had to reverse them and flip them around in your head before you had access to the photographic apps on the computer to crop it into a symbol that resembled a letter. The ‘s’ was a horizontal bar on my bed, the ‘m’ was an old shell that was once in our fish tank, the ‘I’ was a dandelion, the ‘L’ was the mast and half of the body of a boat made out of wood, and the ‘e’ was a decorative piece off our letterbox. The ‘e’ had to be adjusted the most.
I chose the word ‘smile’ as my mantra because it’s a hell of a lot easier to smile at what life has given us than frown and hold a grudge about every bad thing that’s happened. I’ve been a smiley person all my life and I think my children have taken on my outlook on life and wear beautiful smiles that comes from deep within their souls. Over the last 8 months we’ve had to continue to ‘smile.’ Just like the old familiar song that comes to mind –
Smile though your heart is aching

Smile even though it’s breaking

When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by

If you smile through your fear and sorrow

Smile and maybe tomorrow

You’ll see the sun come shining through for you
Light up your face with gladness

Hide every trace of sadness

Although a tear may be ever so near

That’s the time you must keep on trying

Smile, what’s the use of crying?

You’ll find that life is still worthwhile

If you just smile
That’s the time you must keep on trying

Smile, what’s the use of crying?

You’ll find that life is still worthwhile

If you just smile
Nat King Coles charismatic voice sings out those lyrics, telling the listener to cheer up and that there is always a bright tomorrow, just as long as they smile. The grief of losing Jacob has brought about a deeper appreciation of life and seeing all the beautiful things like all the different colours in the world, in plants, in the sea – the creatures and habitats they live in and sky at sunrises and sunsets. How can a death of someone so beautiful in your life make you see and appreciate things more deeply. How is it possible? It should make us bitter people. But I choose to ‘smile.’ I choose to smile because Jacob smiled throughout the treatments of chemo, radiation, operations, scans and biopsies. He smiled through the pain of the rapidly spreading disease. He smiled even after the days of being told there was nothing more they could do to save him. He smiled right up until the day before he took his last breath. His strength and will to live life to the fullest despite being given the most shittiest outcome possible for one so young and just starting to enjoy life make me want to live the rest of my life in ways that would make him proud. He would want us all to smile, not to be gloomy and sad and bitter at the wrongs in life. He’d want us to be happy and for us to smile and continue to see miracles in life everyday.
‘See miracles in life everyday’ – my greatest miracles by far has been the creation of my 4 children. We all have to see the miracles in everyday life and find our own reasons to ‘smile.’ I have Jacob’s memories to make me smile. * The way he did the actions for a preschool concert in a beat just made for his own drums, seconds before the rest of the class. * when he licked white powder of the ground when we were camping thinking it was sherbet when it was washing powder (his face was priceless) * when he first walked across the sand towards the water in flippers when he was about 2/12, he would have won ‘funniest home video’ had we recorded it. * the way he tippy toe walked and had the sculptured calve muscles to prove it. * the way he called out to me while playing footy ‘hi mummy’ with a wave and his quirky way of tackling a player, putting your hand on their back when they were already down. So many more reasons to smile. I’m sure his siblings have many too. One’s that come to mind – * Ben standing at the end of the Jacob’s bed in the dark of night stealing his blankets and waking him up yelling ‘come on we’ve got to get out if here!’ in one of his sleep walking dreams or nightmare as they shared a room. * Amy will cherish all those road trips taken together to watch the Tigers play a game of footy, particularly the last game they drove to and got a flat tyre on the way only to change it to the new tyre to find out that that too was flat. * Rachel will watch all the home videos and smile at how many squabbles they had, as siblings do and I caught some on film. Maybe she’ll watch ‘Babes in the Woods’ the Roo theatre production where her and Jacob got to wear green tights as they were both two of Robin Hoods Merry Men. When we played family games there was really only one winner and that was Pete, and we’d laugh at how Jacob tried his hardest to beat his dad at ‘Buzz’ and ‘Scene it’ being the big movie critic he was becoming. Chris and all of his mates will have to find their own ‘smiles’ to keep them going in hard times when they miss their friend and buddy.
By trying to find the reasons to smile a lot more in the days that pan out throughout the coming year does not mean that my heart has mended. Grief has changed me. The pain has sculpted me into someone who understands more deeply, hurts more often, appreciates more quickly, cries more easily, hopes more desperately, love more openly and ‘smiles’ more freely.

Nothing is more beautiful than a real smile that has struggled through the tears.

3 thoughts on “‘Smile’…….See Miracles In Life Everyday 😊

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