Pushing the smile button | Maya's Gifts

Pushing the smile button

boulder with eg0001

July 2001

Dear Maya,

What a wondrous time in your life. You are non-stop moving, exploring, always on the go.  You rarely will allow yourself to relax completely.  Precious are the few moments that you’ll rest your head on my shoulder while being held.

Maya, you and I have been to Colorado and back. You are a great traveler.  It was a bit hard in the plane for you.  Because of the turbulence, we had to stay in our seats.  You needed to move.  Despite your frustration, we made out okay.

I mentioned before, and I’ll tell you again. Your passion is social interaction.  You must connect with people.  At a restaurant for instance, you need to have eye contact and a smile from everyone.  You work the crowd.  First checking out everyone at one table.  One by one, you meet the gaze of each diner.  You do not release it until they smile.  Once finished with all the dinner guests on one side of the restaurant, you sit there in the high chair, making sure to connect with everyone on the other side.  By the time dinner is over, you’ve won the hearts of all under the roof.

In Colorado, you took a little dip in a mountain lake; you sang a mantra from your stroller under a canopy as Penny and I were jogging with you in a hail storm, you enjoyed splashing around in a community pool and each night, you started your sleep with Penny. We had all around fun.

After a week away, re-uniting with Mathew and Adin was treasured!

Loving you, my jewel, Mom

standing in rockies0001

(Maya was walking at 9 1/2 months.)

January 2016

I vividly remember that dining experience in Boulder. It was as if Maya pressed a “smile button” on each person there.  I am struck how Maya has and continues to touch the hearts of all.  In her life here on earth, she hit many “smile buttons”.  She acted in the role of social coordinator.  During Shiva, we met peers of Maya who we never knew.  They shared with us, how Maya found a way to include them when they felt isolated at school.  Just last spring, she coordinated a group of friends in weekly dinners; they’d enjoy pot luck, dinner out, or someone hosted.  A small thing, yet she was committed to social connections.  Now, in her passing, I hear from people close and across the globe about how they have softened.  They are more open, loving and compassionate.  Is Maya still continuing to do her work?


  • As I read this, Elise, I want permission to send your words on. I know several friends who will benefit from your and Maya’s insight about what it is to love.

    Your little beauty. I can see her working the tables in the restaurant years ago. She and your words are the exactly what I need to hear this new day of this new year. Yours and a line from Bob Frankie…”what can we do with our days but hope and pray that our work binds our love to our play? What can we do with each moment of our lives but love till we loved them away. Love till we’ve loved them away.” (That may not be exact but idea is.)
    Peace and love, Betty

  • Yes, Elise. Maya continues to do her work and work her magic. But you and Mathew are helping her to do so. Through the stories about Maya that many of us didn’t know, through the reflections you offer, we are learning from your child how to be better people.
    Thank you for enlightening us, and thank you Maya for setting an incredible example.

  • Thank you Elise, for allowing my long post : )

    Dear Elise,
    Funny you should say, ” is Maya continuing to do her work???.You’ve mentioned how acute her level of compassion and distress was at all suffering in the world. Having contemplated this, my belief is that, aside from the outer appearances surrounding her manner of transition, she came here to obtain a kindred knowledge of that suffering. Having gained what was needed, she freed her soul to assist the many from another dimension, by her own self sacrifice.
    My personal losses have shown me this is one of the ways sacrifice works. A soul offers itself up for the greater growth and upliftment of many. On a soul level, it is a divine calling.
    This understanding gave me immense comfort during 9/11, as well as other mass exits caused by nature, war etc. Within the constraints of the body, one person alone, does not affect that much change by their death, with some notable exceptions, of course. Imagine how many more lives can be touched and changed, by world losses in many areas of service, such as Gandhi, John Lennon, Mother Theresa, etc.. Your Maya has created her own ripple effect, circling out beyond her immediate family, and community. If you choose to go one step further with initiating greater social awareness of the impact of teenage suicide, envision her ripple circling out even further.
    We live our lives within illusion and the maya of appearances. Your Maya is a high soul, going about honoring her sacred contract. Feel the love and be in peace. A soulful New Year to you all.

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