Because She Smiled
When the results came in, the test came back positive. Maria, my best friend, had cancer. After she told me the news, my chest felt like I had been stabbed through the heart. Maria had always been there for me like when I went through my parents’ divorce, bad boy friends, and break ups. Now, for the first time Maria needed me. Maria never complained, and as long as I can remember she was the one always carrying me on her back. All I could think about was that I had to be strong, and I could not cry.
When I first saw her lying in the hospital bed like a wet limp noodle, I lost it, my knees gave out, my face went a pale white, and tears streamed down my face. I looked into her dark brown eyes and I saw strength and preparation for the fight. I reached down and hugged her. For a few minutes I held her in my arms and sobbed. I looked at her again, and this time her cheeks were glowing, and her pearly whites were shinning. How she found the strength to smile I will never know, but I am forever grateful to her.
That smile taught me a life lesson. Times may get rough, but don’t give up hope. There are so many things in life that make it worth living. It is just sad most people don’t realize that until they almost lose it. That smile brought back all the memories we shared like in when we would walk down the halls of our high school on the look out for a cute boy. That bright smile has made my life worth living.
As for Maria, she kept that smile through every hardship and treatment. She won. It was as if her joy and faith were her weapons and the cancer was her enemy. She faced the cancer without the slightest bit of doubt that she would lose. I truly believe that smile
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.