Smile Story No. 6: Experiencing Loss-Through the Lens of Nancy

Smile Story No. 6

Smile Story No. 6 continues with Nancy’s life experience and how she copes with loss. SPECIAL NOTE: when we decided to publish part two of her story, which she submitted a while ago – the last thing noticed was the date: 01/11/2020.   

SMILE STORY NO. 6: I am a strong believer of emotional well being and spiritual thought processes. I often see the combination of the number (1) consecutively throughout the day. There is always a higher meaning to these number connections 1:11 – 11:11, but to each person, the interpretations may vary. Most of my reflections during these number encounters are during moments of extreme vulnerability. It is a reminder for me to affirm the truth, change the way I feel, change my manner of thinking, pay closer attention to my thoughts, to remember my strengths, and to refocus on my path in life.

I never knew how to express empathy or comfort to others growing up after experiencing immediate loss in my family. When you are grieving, there is absolutely no right thing you can say or do to help ease the pain. My parents brought six beautiful children into this world. Three boys and three girls. Perfect and ideal harmony for any family, especially after the struggles my parents experienced coming to the states after the Vietnam war. I am number 5 of what was 6 siblings. My older sister #3 of 6 died shortly after birth due to congenital heart problems, and my oldest brother was killed when I was 5 years old shortly after his graduation and 18th birthday. I bare this pain everyday, yet keep it hidden because that’s just what we are supposed to do right?

I eventually lost my faith and drifted down a seemingly rebellious path. Every August instead of celebrating my birthday, I would find myself filled with sadness as I remembered my brother’s birthday early in the month, and his passing at the end of the month. I was also broken that I had a sibling that I never met, beyond the white stone rocks that marked her infant sized memorial site at the cemetery. We are bound by unconditional spiritual love. Is that enough to fix a grieving smile?

I am forever grateful that after 27 years of losing my brother, and being almost 32 years old, I am able to embrace the hurt and loss of my loved ones. I’ve been in touch with my faith again. I live in good graces and celebrate their love through the action of giving. I have learned to accept that it’s ok to share my love in the form of tears and to smile back on the positive memories that I have of those who I have lost.

Today is June 9th, 2019. This day marks exactly one year, one month, and one day (1.1.1) since Christie reached out to share her vision and passion project with me. She felt that we were on the “same passion wavelengths” at that point in our lives as we were seeking “more” in our careers. As always, I listened, encouraged, and believed in her vision and passion. I have always been an avid supporter in her smile journey especially having the opportunity to connect with her in person at RDHUOR in 2018. She has always respected me as a fellow mom and colleague. Her ability to share that unconditionally, laid the foundation for her passion project.

Scrolling through our initial conversations… we celebrated a year of knowing each other… and today happened to be one year, one month, and one day, since our shared connection. What a blessing right? Coincidence or not? Timing is everything and when something is meant to be… it aligns with your purpose in life.

Nancy’s story does not end with Smile Story No. 6 – stay tuned for the final part part on love. In the meantime, follow and connect with Nancy on Instagram  and see why she is #yourfaverdh #smilehavenrdh