A Smiling Face

The Gift of a Smiling Face


With just your being there,

The atmosphere somehow brightens.

With just your being there,

Everyone feels at ease.

I yearn to be just like you.


“This is my favorite poem by calligrapher Mitsu Aida.  It means that when we are with other people, even if we cannot think of anything clever to say, we should try by our very presence to brighten the surroundings and make everyone comfortable.  I am incredibly happy when I come across a person who does that.  I gaze at him or her lovingly and wish I could do the same.” an excerpt from  Rev Shundo Aoyama, author of a favourite book,  Zen Seeds: Reflections of a Female Priest

My sweetest of all possible Mother’s, departed this earth on Sunday afternoon, July 26th, on beautiful Gabriola Island. She was 100 years and three months. She was fully alive up to the moment of death and had the most loving, joyful, grateful and peaceful two weeks imaginable, with her beloved family.

As you may imagine, there are many wondrous stories to be told. Today is not yet the time.

What I will leave you with is this. This was a profound experience for all of us, including the great grandchildren. We are returning to our homes with loving memories and joy-filled moments in our hearts, reflecting on what it means to live a good life and inspired to do a little tweaking.

Nothing was left unsaid.

Thank you for the many good wishes that you have sent to me/us over this past week. with appreciation and love, Trudy

20 replies
  1. Sabine
    Sabine says:

    Dear Trudy,
    it is almost, as if my own mother has left. Through your loving reports about her, your mom has become kind of guide and second mother to me:-) There is nothing, a mother could be replaced with but loving memories can maybe soothe the loss.
    Thank you for letting us be part of a “Life full of YES”:-)

  2. Yoshie
    Yoshie says:

    Dear Trudy
    I appreciate your telling us your warm and precious feeling at such a sorrow parting. I feel I have lots to say but cannot find a word now. I just thank your Mother for many lessons and treasure her photo of smiling face.
    Love, Yoshie

  3. Teresia
    Teresia says:

    So inspiring how intentional you all were with your mom during her last few weeks with us. So many precious memories and life lessons gained. Thank you for sharing your heart Trudy and your precious life journey.

  4. Nancy Poncelet
    Nancy Poncelet says:

    Dear Trudy,
    My heart is full. In the short time I’ve known and have been following you I have felt a kinship with you and your mom. She was truly remarkable; so loving and was so loved. How sad we feel 💖 It feels like a loss now, even with the amazing gifts she left behind in the hearts of many.
    “So, if you are too tired to speak sit next to me because I, too, am fluent in silence.” R Arnold
    With love ❤️

  5. janice
    janice says:

    We are blessed that you have shared with us so much of your journey with your dear mother Trudy. A deep bow of appreciation for your presence in my life and all that you bring to the world. love Jan

  6. Margaret Rode
    Margaret Rode says:

    With nothing clever or new to say, my friend, I am sending you much love and tenderness as you move through this experience and the transition stage it presents, for you and yours. Love.

  7. Carol Ingells
    Carol Ingells says:

    Trudy, I send my love and pray God’s arms of comfort around you and your family. I feel a loss, too, but so grateful for such a beautiful person.

  8. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    What a beautiful woman your dear Mother was…and always will be. Just like her daughter.
    Sending you all so much love. xxx

  9. Sheila and Jim
    Sheila and Jim says:

    “Mother” has always been an inspiration. We loved her dearly and we will miss her terribly.
    It has been an honour to be part of her family. With much love to all the family.

    KURCHAK says:

    Dear Trudy:

    May the memories of your beloved mom be gentle, and bring more peace than pain.

    Thank you for sharing her with us.

    Wendy Kurchak

  11. Connie
    Connie says:

    Hi Trudy
    I’m not sure if you remember me? I sat beside you on the plane to New Brunswick last year and we talked the whole way there and back.
    You spoke of your mom and I remembered you said this year she was turning 100. You told me she started swimming later in life and never said no to an invitation. I loss my mom 6 days after her 60th birthday and that was 20 years ago. There’s not a day I don’t think of her and miss her voice and kindness. Just like your mom she was a special lady. I wish she could have grown old. You were truly blessed to have your mom all these years.
    Sending my love to a daughter who was blessed to also have a wonderful, special mom.
    xox. Connie

  12. Tamara
    Tamara says:

    Dear Trudy
    Jim and I send our most sincere condolences. I was unaware your mom was so ill. Maybe I missed one of your blogs. The last blog I felt a sadness and was afraid to ask about your moms health. You wrote so lovingly, painted a beautiful picture of serenity on Gabriola Island. The sunrises and sunsets and family. 🌹Sending loving prayers,🙏🏼
    Tamara and Jim

  13. Shelley
    Shelley says:

    “Wonder-full” stories of your very special Mother have been an inspiration to me (and so many others) over the years. May memories of her ordinary life lived with extraordinary love, joy and kindness bring peace to her beloved family and continued inspiration to us all.
    With much love, dear Trudy,

  14. Mary Ann
    Mary Ann says:

    Dear Trudy, Thank you again for sharing this precious time with us. It’s been a gift, to be able to read about your mother and the love surrounding you all during her last days.

  15. Jiun
    Jiun says:

    Dear Trudy, sending you my love and warm thoughts to you and your family. Thank you for sharing your life with us, your Mom was and always be an inspiration of loving person and living fully… with deep bow and gratitude, Jiun

  16. Helen Wirrell
    Helen Wirrell says:

    Dear Trudy,
    Thanks for sharing some of your experiences with your beautiful mother and her loving family in these last days of her earthly path. She left a lovely legacy in you, her caring and wise daughter.
    I’m hoping her loving presence is always with you, whether in the beauty of nature or your love of poetry or a twinkle in an eye.
    Sending you love and warm hugs, Helen xxx

  17. Patti Morris
    Patti Morris says:

    She was indeed the sweetest of all, she was a spark of light and love in our world. Everyone who met her loved her. Please know that my heart is present with yours Trudy as you reflect on and celebrate this miraculous woman.
    With unending love,


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