There is a saying…”The Best Things in Life are Free.” One of the best free things in my life are smiles. If you ask anyone who knows me, they will tell you that I have a big smile that I flash a lot. I smile when I am happy and I smile when I am sad. For me smiling is an expression of my feelings and a bit therapeutic. If I smile when I am sad then I am forcing myself to display some happiness. Even if that happiness is very small in comparison to my sadness, it is still real. There is always something to be happy about. Even in the worst of circumstances. Here are a few examples:
- My husband, Brad, was in a motorcycle accident in 2001 and we didn’t know if he would recover. He could not talk or walk properly for the first two weeks. It was a stressful and sad time but I was happy that Brad was still alive. I was happy that I could still hug him, that he knew who I was, and that he didn’t break any bones in his body. Brad’s brain was shaken and torn but he was still with me. This was reason enough to smile.
- We had to declare bankruptcy in 2010 because Brad’s health had deteriorated due to his prior brain injury. We lost our credit, we gave up our carpentry business, our vehicles were repossessed, and eventually we foreclosed on our home. Brad worked hard for our comfortable life and in just a few months everything changed. Although, the decision to declare bankruptcy and apply for disability, lifted a weight off our shoulders. All the stress from struggling with Brad’s health and paying bills was lessened. It was a hard decision but a good one. The sun was shining through the clouds.
- In 2012 I had a miscarriage, three months into my pregnancy. We learned that our baby stopped growing at five weeks. This was one of the most difficult times of my life. Even worse than Brad’s motorcycle accident because this was our baby that died inside me. I was miserable for months. Even then I was relieved that the miscarriage happened early in my pregnancy. I know that if the baby was older it would have been more difficult. It was a blessing to carry that little life for a few weeks. Life is precious even if it’s short-lived.
- Last week my 93-year-old grandmother with dementia had to move into a nursing home after falling and breaking her hip. I hate being 2000 miles away from my family. I was raised close to my grandmothers. I remember them in good health and seeing them suffer is extremely sad. I am happy that Grandma was able to live for 93 years independently. Now she will be well taken care of. The home will be a safe environment with helping hands and hopefully falls will be avoided.
I know that you can look back at your life and find light even in the darkest times. It is there. You must maintain a positive attitude and you will find something to be happy about, a reason to smile. Smiling is good for your health and for the health of your family. We all want our kids to grow up to be happy, well-adjusted adults. Give them a good start with your positive example. Smile :-) Signing off, Tina