Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Smile If It Kills You

Today I'm told to write about my favorite quote.  As with books, music, food, etc...I can't pick just one favorite anything.  But I love, love the quote above. Kindness.  It's huge to me. Something that was instilled in me from childhood, by example, by discipline, by my stuck.

I've talked about my mom before.  She passed away from complications of Diabetes when I was 12.  I think God, knowing I was going to lose her so young, gave me the gift of remembering.  I remember her so well.  I would recognize her laugh if I heard it today.  I work in a senior living community and one of my residents smells like my mom used to smell. It's a lotion from Avon. It was my mom's scent. I've told my resident this and she lets me hug her anytime I want. My girls tell me I have a scent too.  When Addy was a toddler, I remember her running across the room to me, smelling my arm, and then running back to whatever she was doing.  She just needed a "fix".  I catch her doing this at random times now.  She's 10.  I hope she does it when she's 30.

What I most remember about my mom was her faith (HUGE) and her kindness.  I would hope the two go together.  She had the huge love for everyone.  Easy.  What is so fascinating to me is that she was completely blind.  I wonder if that was a bit of an advantage for her, compared to those of us with full sight.  How easy we interpret things...judge, by sight alone.  I think she went strictly by how someone treated her.  And even then...she loved.  I can't remember her ever having anything bad to say about anything, anyone.  Even in the worst of her times.  She could somehow find the good.  The reason.  And accept it.  Of course, I'm remembering her through the rose-colored glasses of a 12-year-old.  I know she was flawed.  I know she must've thrown fists in the air at times.  Let her anger out.  I'm her daughter. Half her. But it's what I remember of her.  It's what she left me. Be kind.  Be love.

I work with seniors.  People that have been around for 100 years (give or take).  I learn a lot from them.  They have been through things I will hopefully never know. Real hard times. Real sadness.  Not that I don't experience that, but when I compare my hard times next to theirs, it seems like night and day.  I am a child next to them.  But I look at them every day.  The long lives they have behind them. I see how they light up when I make eye contact.  When I smile at them. When I touch their hand.  Still. I hope they see what they do for me.

One of my residents used to say through her own, wide smile, every time I saw her, "Smile if it kills you."  And I try.  It's the goal every time.

If you let it, kindness can trump the worst. How lucky are we that we can remember a smile, a touch, a word from 30-plus years ago?  I know that it stays with you. It's as good as love.  It's as good as a memory. And I hope that when I'm gone, it's something that I leave behind, that carries forward.  I'm flawed.  I throw fists in the air. I let the anger out.  My goal every day,  is that my kindness, my good,  is bigger.

My Instagram Challenge today is:  Happiness.

I love this picture.  It is a pivotal moment in my life (the calm before the storm), and somehow it was captured.  I was truly happy.  It's a reminder for me that even when your world completely falls out from under will smile again.


Jennifer said...

It's one of the things I love most about you, your kindness. You're good at it, babes. xoxo

sherilee said...

It is amazing things do work themselves out, isn't it? You and I have talked about that... bless you for your kindness, and your memories of your mom, and your compassion for the elderly. I really admire all those attributes.