“I never will understand all the good that a simple smile can accomplish”
A bright light went out on Friday. It faded peacefully after a lifetime of shining; illuminating lives with joy and love and especially laughter, everywhere it glowed.
I knew this woman for only a weekend in my life. One would think that a weekend couldn’t make a lasting memory or touch a heart with such power or force as to render said heart bruised and aching at her passing.
One would be wrong.
I am privileged to count myself among the lucky ones who knew her. Even if my time was short, it was blessed with joy and honor and awe for such a woman.
In her nineties, she traveled from Hawaii to the Midwest just for a weekend, to witness the wedding of a nephew. She was an honored guest and seated at the head table during the rehearsal dinner, she joined in conversations with passion and conviction. Her smile and energy lit up the room.
She had fun. And her fun was contagious. Just the simple act of watching her take pleasure in the world around her, compelled you to take another look, see through her eyes, and take in the beauty as she saw it.
She enjoyed everything and everyone. Every time I glanced over at her table during the wedding, she was a beam of light glowing in her chair. Her effervescence bubbled up within me, like the finest champagne and I was drunk in her presence. Enchanted, enthralled.
I adored her.
It was hard for her to hear. Harder still for her to walk. I am told she tired easily. None of these things were apparent when you saw her. What you noticed was her smile. What you noticed was her glow. What you remembered was her gratitude and the love that poured out of her. Even for a stranger girl that she barely knew.
I can only hope that on my best day I will someday reach that level of…something.
I’m not even sure it’s tangible enough to put in writing. Perhaps it’s a combination of virtues that finally come together in a symphony of joy.
I would love to believe that I am on my way to my nineties learning how to achieve love, joy, peace, gratitude and forgiveness. She remembered to add in fun. I can be guilty of leaving that one out, being more familiar with the driven, task focused side of my nature. The side of me that is usually in charge is the one that was raised to think you don’t play until your work is done-and oh by the way, a woman’s work is never done. I actually have to make it a goal to relax and play.
I think I’m getting better. She has inspired me to want more for myself. To be more, to see more, enjoy more. I want to be a bright light that shines. A smile that glows. A person that has fun and enjoys life. I don’t want to look down at my funeral and hear them say “she worked too hard, she never had any fun.”
I want them to say “A bright light has gone out today…”