I believe in smiling and the power that it has to change or influence a person’s life.
From a such a simple expression that always makes anyone look more beautiful to charting the course of another’s life.
My wife and I have been visiting her parents almost every weekend since my mother-in-law had a stroke/brain hemorrhage. She is wheelchair bound and does not have use of her left side. Her memory is not the same so we spend time not only to try to help physically but mentally by recalling old memories. The bonus is that it is a lot of fun being with them anyway and the things we learn during each visit becomes a great memory. It was on one such weekend talking about how my in-laws (Nana and PopPop) met that I noticed a picture of Nana when she was a teenager first dating PopPop. She had this big smile and had written on the picture “Here’s my smile for you – how about one for me?” As I stared at the picture I came to appreciate and understand what PopPop saw in her. She was beautiful but it was her smile that made you feel lighter than air. PopPop still gets such pleasure out of seeing her smile now and we often see the two of them just looking and smiling at each other.
I then took a closer look at the pictures of their children (16 in all, hanging from the wall leading from the first floor to the second!) and how each smile was really very much like Nana’s, especially my wife’s. This led me to think about the times when I would come home from a business trip and how I would look forward to seeing my wife because she always has that smile to greet me, always making everything okay. It is the same smile that greeted me when I saw her for the first time. Back then we were in college and I was coming downstairs to our fraternity house party room to meet the girls we had invited. When I saw her she smiled and I smiled. I then thought that she was too pretty to like me so I left the party to roam the other fraternity house parties that were going on that weekend. When I came back later that evening she was still there (actually waiting for her roommate so she could get back to their dorm) and again with that smile, which this time helped me overcome my lack of confidence. The rest is history – 30 plus years of marriage with five children, several of whom have their own. I see their mother’s smile in all of them. In fact there is a picture frame with pictures of me, my oldest boy and his son – all with the same smile – it really defines us and an image that makes me smile whenever I recall it.
I smile all the time because I never know when it will be my smile that will change someone’s life or simply help cheer up someone’s day. Smiling is powerful!