There are days I simply cannot muster a smile. No matter how hard I try, the pain in my soul keeps the smiles from being able to surface. And since smiling is such an important part of human interactions, even around those who know I am grieving, I find it difficult to relate when my smiles are hindered.
I usually stay home on these days.
It has kept me from church, get-togethers with friends, the grocery store, the coffee shop, and other outings to public places.
However, last week, despite having a smile-stifled day, Drake and I decided to venture out for dinner together anyway. When we arrived at the restaurant we were greeted by a sweet, enthusiastic hostess. “Welcome! How are you guys doin’ tonight?” she chirped.
With as much energy as I could muster, I responded, “Okay.”
“Only okay? Well, I’m determined to make that a ‘great!’ by the end of your meal,” she replied as she ushered us over to our table.
After she left, I turned to Drake and choked out the words, “The only way she can make this ‘great!’ is to bring back our son. She might be disappointed!”
Just a few seconds later she returned and declared, “I’ll be serving you tonight and I’m going to work to get at least five smiles out of you!”
The corners of my lips must have turned up as I tried to eek out a smile, “That’s a half smile and I’ll take it. Only four more to go!”
She kept trying each time she came to our table until she seemed to get the idea that we really weren’t doing well. One clear indicator came when she unsuspectingly asked Drake if he wanted his drink refilled and when she looked in his eyes there were tears.
I felt bad…another day and she might have been one of my favorite waitresses…
Some days I really cannot muster a smile.