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 find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile…
Because of his smile, he made my life more beautiful. Gregger had the greatest smile…tooth-bearing, eye-twinkling grin…seriously, his smile just melted my heart. Even in the worst of times (I could be seething mad at him!), he would tug at the corners of his mouth, contorting them to a smug boyish grin, until I could no longer contain my rage…I mellowed from ranting rage to nearly quiet calm.
If Gregger smiled at you, he touched your heart. His smile embraced you like a hug, warmed you like a steaming mug of hot chocolate, and softened sadness like a warm summer sunset. His smile reached out to me several days after he left this earth…sitting on the shore, letting the waves slap at my thighs, feeling the sand sift through my toes, I looked up at the perfectly clear blue sky to see a strand of billowing clouds far off in the distance. These weren’t just any clouds…they were fittingly congregated with an opening in the center and slightly turned up on each corner, a perfect smile. I nudged Ashley and said,
“Look…your dad is smiling at us.” The tears flowed, we believed, and we sat for 5 hours gazing at that cloud. The cloud never moved…it never changed shape…impossible, right? Wrong…this was our cloud, our smile.
Later that night while out in the village, we encountered a stranger who told us a mystical Maui belief that when someone dies you will see a cloud with an opening…she had no idea that we had stared at that cloud ALL day. We were sharing stories with her because she had recently lost her mother…she was trying to offer us comfort during a difficult time. She went on to say that the significance of the cloud is your loved one telling you they are okay and ready for you to let them go. Ashley and I stood there in awe…how could she have known? What brought us to this place for her to tell us this story? It was a chance, random encounter, yet now we knew…the cloud, the smile, Greg. It all came together and we knew…he smiled, we smiled, and then the tears flowed.
It has been six months since Gregger’s sparkling smile graced this earth, but it is etched in stone upon my heart. It will always make my life more beautiful. It brings me sunshine on a cloudy day…it raises me up when I’m feeling down…and it gives me strength when I think there’s nothing left to give. I look to the skies for more “smiling” clouds, but I carry that Maui smile with me and know he is at peace.