90 Years of ‘Smiling Through It All’

Community Contributed

By Rev. Jean Taloa

“Smiling Through It All” by 90-year-old Molokai resident Lillian Faker is a new book in town. Its purpose is to bring laughter and joy to all its readers.

Many years ago, Lillian began writing about the happenings in her life. Her children were growing and accomplishing new goals. Her life was a pleasure and Lillian wanted to share it with her friends. She bought a computer to put all of her stories on, but she didn’t have the patience to learn how to operate it. So Lillian caller her granddaughter, Barbara, and said, “Will you please come and get this monster out of my house before I pitch a brick at it?” “Gladly,” was the reply. “My five year old son knows how to run it.”

For a surprise Christmas present, Barbara put all of Lillian’s stories into a loose-leaf notebook and gave a copy to each family member.

“I know you and my children know you, but their children will not have that blessing,” explained Barbara. “Now they can learn to love you through stories you have written.”

At the time, Lillian was volunteering in a print shop and she had permission to use the copy machine. Throughout the years, she made many copies and gave them to her friends. It gave her great pleasure to share her happiness.

One day, a coworker said, “I have her whole manuscript, and when she’s not here anymore, I’m going to have it published.” Lillian’s first thought was, “No! That’s my book!” She figured the only way to prevent that was to publish it herself. Lillian knew nothing about how to do that. She only had a collection of short stories, no plot, no beginning, and no ending. She went running to her kids, really upset. They all came to her support.

“Well,” they said. “Give it a plot! Arrange the stories chronologically and call it your autobiography.” They pitched in and helped her do that. Her daughter, Ellen, took the time to teach her how to use a word processor. She went every day to Lillian’s house and untangled the problems she had made and encouraged her to keep trying.

Finally, most of the stories were recorded and now it was up to Lillian to organize them into a life story. Then her grandson, Ray, submitted it to Amazon publishers. He worked with Amazon until it finally resembled a book, a happy collection of 90 years of funny stories.

Of course, into each life some rain must fall, so there are a few sad chapters. But God gave Lillian the comfort of knowing that nothing lasts forever, even sadness. She was able to see the happy side of life and keep “smiling through it all.”

If you have a book in the back of your mind that you would like to see published someday, look up createspace.com, Amazon’s publishers. To purchase “Smiling Through It All,” call Lillian at 553-3460 or visit Hotel Molokai’s vendor market on Fridays between 2:30 and 5 p.m.


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