Wednesday, May 4, 2011

If You Just Smile

by Charlie Chaplin

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 pain 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.

I asked them to play that song on the piano at my step-father's funeral on Saturday. I was inspired by the version by Glee and thought it had a good message, especially during this time of sorrow. It seems unreal that last week around this time, my father died from his long battle with ALS. It somewhat caught us off guard because we thought he had a couple more months left and his lungs were still doing really good. But he didn't want to fight anymore.. he needed that peace, and that's what makes this all so bearable knowing that Greg is no longer suffering. I miss him every second though. When I think of him now, it's not about the courageous man who was in a wheel chair for two years, it's the father I lost when he was healthy, strong and happy. My mom and I both agreed it feels as if he is on a business trip or something. We are doing okay, but it's still rough. My mom started crying yesterday because she was washing his clothes and realized she would never again wash them. She's having such a heart time, and the only thing I can do is be there for her. I graduate on Friday from the University of Utah, and I wish more than anything he could be there... but in a way he will be. The funeral was beautiful and so many people came. Nevertheless, it was one of the hardest days I've ever gone through and it seemed never ending, which was how the entire week felt last week - dream state you could say. This business associate of Greg's read something about him which was wonderful, but it was my older brother's speech that led everyone in tears. There wasn't a dry eye in the entire chapel. They did a little bit of a Greek service and then we had to say our final goodbye. I wrote something for him to put in his casket and it was almost 6 pages long. How can you sum up all of your feelings to someone in a letter? Well I tried. He told him what he meant to me, that I would miss him but I knew he would always be with me... even when I graduate, get married, and have my babies. My children will know this man who touched my life so greatly and not a day will go by that I won't think of him. On the pamphlet we passed out at the funeral they had a poem I wrote which is actually in my blog in the 2008 postings called Broken and then two other beautiful poems... but this one really is what gets to me:

God looked around his garden
and he found an empty place

and then he looked down upon the earth,

and saw your tired face.
He put his arms around you,

and lifted you to rest.

God's garden must be beautiful,

He always takes the best.

He knew that you were suffering,

He knew that you were in pain,

He knew that you would never
Get well on earth again.
He saw the road was getting rough,
and the hills were hard to climb,
So he closed your weary eyelids,
And whispered "Peace be thine"

That poem always gets to me because I think of how my poor father suffered for the last two years. To not be able to move, talk, eat, or barely breathe... can you even imagine? He is my hero true and true and I will carry his memory with me forever.

Want to say thank you to Rachel my blog bestie for sending beautiful flowers to me and my family: I love you thank you sweetie! And thank you for everyone who wrote kind words on my last blog post.. I was in a dark spot that night... and even though I get down a lot still, I'm really trying to hold my head up and smile. I want to keep living: that's what Greg would want me to do.



  1. I am so sorry to hear this! My grandpa died a few years ago from ALS. It was bittersweet when he passed because we all missed him but we were grateful the suffering was over.

    you are in my thoughts!

  2. What a wonderful poem!! It would be wonderful to share that with the families of patients I come into contact with quite often. Peace be with you Jessica!

  3. Smile is such a great song!!! It's one of my favorites!! I am sorry for you loss Jess!! Your family is in my thoughts!