I still remember as a young child walking into my great grandparents house with my Mom and my two brothers. I was four years old, the youngest of us three kids, and it was a ritual for us to visit my great grandparents on a weekly basis. I remember holding my Mom’s hand as tight as I could. My great grandfather was very tall and thin with jet-black hair. People often said he resembled Abraham Lincoln, but to me it was more like Frankenstein. My brothers would always run right up to his chair and jump in his lap as I hid behind my Mom’s leg. We were all always excited to go get our silver dollar from him, which he gave us every time we visited. But, it took me a little bit to warm up. I can still picture my great grandpa peeking around at me and he knew just what to do. He would always catch my eye and then give me the biggest smile possible. Then I would let go and proceed over to his chair to get my silver dollar. As long as he was smiling at me, all my fears went away. It was that early in my life that I learned the true power a smile has.
I have carried these memories with me throughout life and applied what he taught me in my own life. The last thing I say to my daughter every morning before I drop her off at the babysitters is, “smile”. I know how much a smile can do for the person giving and the person receiving. Nothing bad can come from a smile. Even through the hardest times, I have learned to make myself smile. Recently, as I battled some rough times, I was venting to one of my manager’s at work. I told him everything that was going on in my life and he looked at me in shock. He then said to me, “I would of never of guessed so much was going on with you. How do you stay so positive? You are always smiling and laughing.” It made me feel really good to hear him say this. I truly do believe a smile can be very powerful. When I smile, I feel better. When I look at my daughter and smile at her and she smiles back, I know everything will be ok. I revert back to that four-year-old sitting on my great grandpa’s lap with a huge smile on my face holding my silver dollar.
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