This I Believe

Stephanie - Seymour, Connecticut
Entered on May 25, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Only a Smile

My grandfather always said that if you just walk walk around smiling, and never frown, everyone else will smile too. He used to joke with me and tell me that it was as contageous as the flu, but in a good way of course. When i asked him “How Grandpa? Does a smile have germs too?” and he laughed and replied “Oh no, your smile is radiant like the sun, and just like the rays it touches everyone who sees it, so they can’t help but smile back.” Over the years I have seen the magic of my grandfathers smile and others as well, which is why I truly believe that a simple smile can change everything.

My grandfather was a very wise man, and he knew what he was talking about, most of the time. He was caring and loving and all that you could ever want someone to grow-up like. But most importantly, he wore a smile on his face, everyday, from the time he woke up to the time he fell asleep. This is how everyone remembers him.

When I was little I used to look forward to him comng home for lunch everyday. I remember piling up the pillows on top of the sofa so i could stand on top of them and be just tall enough for my head to look over the top of the cushion so i could stare out the window and look as hard as i could for the sight of a white truck coming down the road. When i could finally see his truck turn the corner I would leap off the couch and run for the door as fast as i could, i even have a couple os scars on my elbows and knees from jumping out too far and hitting the coffee table. After i managed to get out the door i would run down to meet him in the driveway. I was too small to see into the window but i always knew he was glad to see me. Then he would shut off the truck, grab his stuff, and open the door. He would barely have any time to get out of his seat because as soon as he opened the door, i was in. He would then grab me by the waist with a big smile on his face and throw me over his shoulder as he walked into the house, where he would say hello to me grandmother and then yell to her “Look what i found trying to jump in my car. Can we keep her?”

It was always fun with my grandfather around, and he was always smiling and laughing. Then one day, i found out that he was sick and getting worse. The truck that i loved to watch pull in never left to driveway. He slept all the time. He was too weak to pick me up anymore. I spent as much time as i could with him those awful three months, longing for him to smile again like he used to, sure he would smile sometimes to try to make me feel better, but they were covered in pain and not his usual happiness.

I remember one of the last times i saw him i reassured him, more for my sake than his, that everything would be alright because i had found a magical cure to make all his pain go away. He asked me what it was and as i stood on top of the chair by his hospital bad i gave him the biggest smile i’ve probably ever given anyone, teeth and all. With tears in his eyes he smiled back and said to me “Do me a favor and never stop smiling, it can make even the sickest person happy, if only for a moment.”

After he died i made a promise to myself that i would try my hardest to smile as much as i could and show the world the power of a simple smile. I feel that sometimes when i smile its like a part of him is still alive and his spirit lives in happiness. So if you ever get the chance try smiling, anywhere and anytime, just smile, soon everyone else will too.