Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Stay Strong and Carry On: Maile Tua'one

She's the girl on the very left. Do you see her? Of course you do. You can't help yourself. There's something in the way she smiles, a secret kept in the corner of her gorgeous eyes that makes you wish you knew what she knew.

"Go ahead and take my picture," she says, a half-laugh on her lips. "See me," she says, even though the photos are a mere echo of the beauty that sits before you. "Love me," she whispers, not a command, but rather an invitation, as though in those two words a world of unbelievable joy can be opened up before your own eyes. A world you would never have seen or felt without her. "Let me love you," she breathes, and in that one breath you know that being loved by Maile will be one of the greatest blessings of your life.

 The last time I really got to see Maile Tua'one, see her, laugh with her, love her, was at our church Christmas party in early December. She and a cousin were playing the part of the most gorgeous Santa Helpers of all time and I had the chance to MC the night. For those who knew Maile it will come as no surprise that she made the night fun. She made it magical. She brought laughter and love to the evening.

Maile died this last Sunday, late in the night. She was with a friend when her car ended up with a flat tire. Her friend got out to change the tire and she stood by his side the entire time. Which was just like her. She was always by your side. Watching over you. Watching with you. Giving very unhelpful pointers but making you love every word of advice.

 When Maile loved - and she loved everyone!...almost - it was with her whole heart. She was a little girl in a woman's body. Very little made her more happy than to dress up in her "real clothes", her Princess clothes.

And if she could find other little girls play princess with her, well, all the better. Because in those few moments shared Maile could explain to each and every little girl that they too were real-life princesses, pretending to be "regular people" in life so everyone else wouldn't have to be too jealous. In her eyes every girl deserved to be treated like royalty, and expected the men in her life to act accordingly. More often than not, they did.

Maile had the heart of an artist. One small doodle turned into a masterpiece. She lived life. She loved life. She was terrified of life. She saw it in vivid color, every swirl, every detail, down to the little things the rest of us take for granted. When we would try to go from point A to point B we knew we'd meet her there, but that she'd be five hours later. Why? Because our straight line was nothing like for her. The twists and turns and stops along the way made the way sweeter, made it worth every moment in her goal to reach B. Only B wasn't her ultimate goal - enjoying the ride, that's what mattered.
"trapped like a bird in the chaos of her own mind. inspiration strikes randomly when contemplating certain people and ideas I can't seem to escape from. I may not know what I'm doing most of the time but I sure do make it look good" ~ Maile Tua'one
Look at those eyes. Look at that half-smile. She knew what it meant to embrace everything good in this life. She's been taken from us here on earth, but her soul is flying now. Higher than she's ever gone before. She's still loving us, as we're still loving her, only she's gone on to love so many more, hand-in-hand with her daddy. Gonna miss you Miss Miles. There is no one else in this world like you. Stop by and visit every once in a while, but be the best missionary you can be on the other side.
Stay Strong and Carry On
Words she shared.
Words she lived.