A SMILE is worth a thousand words

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Thatta girl, Minnie Mouse, smile! Smile! Smile away.

Whether everything always seems quite so hunky-dory, or not, whether Mickey’s in trouble or not,  Minnie still pulls herself together and stands hopefully and blissfully smiling away.  Why?  Because just the very twinge of hope that happens when you take that tiny effort to smile, gives both yourself and others a sense of peace that it’s gonna be okay.  It sure makes ol’ Mickey feel relief to see her smiling, and an extra boost to keep going on whatever mission he’s got planned with his crew to solve their latest conundrum.  And I’m quite sure that this little cutie pie, Minnie, feels a little more like her ol’ self after a good deep breath and a little flash of that grin we all love and know.  What is it about that little old smile?

It’s just a cartoon.

I know this.

I haven’t completely lost my mind. 😉

But, she kinda reminds me of myself sometimes.  Yet, I’m neither a cartoon… or a mouse.

For me, I’m wife and mother of 5, trying her darndest too kick cancer’s butt for the second time… yet somehow today,  I relate to Minnie Mouse.  Go figure.

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My smile can be my best weapon, and sometimes thwarts me.  No matter how incredible or horrible I’m feeling, I guarantee you, I’ll have a smile on my face.  My eyes may not be very twinkly when I’m really in some pain, but I always feel like smiling.  It’s just a thing.  It’s genuine.  But can be pretty confusing to docs in an ER, surgeons post op, nurses taking care of me, or even mere acquaintances that see me and say “I was gonna ask how you’re feeling, but you seem to be feeling much better, I guess, right?”  The smile is confusing.   I just love people.  When I see people, it’s like social morphine.  It warms my heart and I’m happy to see them.  Even nurses and doctors whom I’ve never met.  Hence… I smile.

I inherited an incredibly large smile.  I have teeth for days.  Not like a shark or anything, although sometimes one might want to start linking me to a great white once my molars start making their presence known quite visibly when I laugh!  And, mind you,  it’s always a good day when I spend it laughing.  Laughter, I always believe is the best medicine (and exercise).  Side Note: The laughing exercise plan is something I can definitely stick to more than the regular 5 days a week gym plan.  I’m all over it a good 7 times a week multiple times a day, if not all day.  Great for the abs!  And if it causes you to laugh so hard you snort a drink out through your nose, then score! Now you’ve cleared your sinuses, too! Win -Win!   …  Now with this whole gargantuan-grin situation comes a unique ability to smile or laugh in most situations. Whether appropriate or not. You kinda have to.  With teeth this size, it’s more comfortable to expose them than to just keep em in all day.  It’s actually exhausting.  Ha!

No seriously.  I grew up laughing a lot with my family.  Finding the positive in most situations,  and no matter how tough times every got (and we definitely have seen our share of some very rocky roads),  we found reason to and comfort in our smile.  Sometimes not in that very moment.  Sometimes, the graces to see the silver lining came later.  But they always came.

Praise God, though,  that that Big Guy upstairs  has blessed me to find much to grin about, even now.   Even in our toughest moments, when we’re digging for every last source of GRIT and strength we can rally, we can look at one another and say, “THANK YOU THAT WE HAVE EACH OTHER TO KEEP US STRONG.  TOGETHER, WE’RE DOING THIS THING.”

And that, my friends, can make me smile at the end of some of my very toughest days.

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Right now,  I must admit,  my treatment has felt harder than it’s felt in a very, very long time.  It’s wearing on me physically, and been very taxing on my immune system.  By adding these extra 4 rounds after my initial 6 rounds for this current diagnosis,  it’s as though I ran a full marathon, got to the end and they moved the finish line up another 20 miles saying, “Just keep running, Mama, you can totally do this!”  To say the least, my body started hitting a wall a little ways back, and my energy for the most basic things has been pretty low.

My kids can see it,  and I can see how it’s affecting them as they watch their Mommy get sick more often and tired on most days.  You’d never know it, because they, like their mama, have a generally happy face and love to laugh, and every chance they get to enjoy and live life they do.  But periodically, especially as of late, it takes just the slightest thing to make them break.  It may happen at school or at a store, who knows. Emotions are unpredictable like that.(Happened randomly for my 12 year old at school while taking photo booth pics in the cafeteria.  It was over something silly, but it was just the straw that made my toughest nut crack, and crack she did. Much to my poor girl’s dismay).  Each of them are having their moments.  To much surprise for those around them, as they seem like every other kid, until they crack.  And why wouldn’t they?  It’s been an incredibly long haul.  They’ve seen their long blonde haired mama, in good health since August 2014.   I gotta give it to my kiddos, and to that AMAZING HUBBIE of mine,  because they are giving this crazy life of ours everything they’ve got and are heads above the rest in learning how to love and show love unconditionally in ways that most their age couldn’t imagine.

Yet if we have to do this, then that’s my prayer.  That we come out stronger.

That we live and love and laugh all the way through this.

I my kids grow up to love deeper and with a strength like no other.

That we continue to cry when we need to,  be quiet when we need to, and SMILE and laugh till our gut hurts whenever  we possibly can, all the way through all of this.

Because it’s healthy.

And as for me, when  I can gather up any and every ounce of energy that I have,  I pray to pour it all into whatever big or tiny event I attend (my apologies, but lately I’m being pretty picky in my  choosing first and foremost those with hubbie and kids) and go out with gusto to seize that moment for all it’s worth.)  And do it all with one BIG FAT SMILE!

Why?

Not because my smile is EVER phony, or “put on”.

But because I find happiness in it.  It lifts my spirit to smile.  It makes me feel like “ME”.

Did you ever notice that when you smile, others smile back?  Boom! Another reason.

The gift that keeps on giving.

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Leaving you all with “SMILE” by NAT KING COLE (How I love his velvety voice!) that’s been stuck in my  head for the past 2 weeks…

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(click on pic above for YOU TUBE VIDEO OF “SMILE” by Nat King Cole)

God bless you all.  Keep praying, keep smiling, keep on trucking’ and …

...every little thing’s gonna be alright.

It’s just gotta be.

Cuz’ I know we’ve got one FIERCE GOD up there who’s all over this.

Much love,

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11 thoughts on “A SMILE is worth a thousand words

  1. Smile… everyone will wonder what you are up to.

    Elise, you are such an amazing woman. Thank you for reminding me to smile. Life is better when you smile. You are such an inspiration to me. Thank you, love you!

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  2. I am certain God smiles as he looks down upon you and all you do!!! You’ve got this!!’ Keep pushing!!! So many prayers for you & your family!

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  3. Elise,
    I know how Blessed you must feel with 5 Beautiful children and your Awesome hubby. Their awesomeness is a direct reflection of the Love and Beauty you add to their every day life. Elise we’ve never met, but your Beauty radiates, even your words on a page. Praying hard for better days for you, and thanking you for your beautiful thoughts, observations in your struggle. I’m Blessed by your Beautiful Shark like smile! in Christ’s Love, Torrie
    PS, my prayers of course include your children and husband❤

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  4. Amazing how you make others just feel better by your own writing. My wish is for you to feel better. I am smiling right now because of you and I can only hope that it makes you smile. You are my idol, Elise! Keep fighting!!

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  5. You made me SMILE my dear!! You always make me smile. Love ya. Keep smilin keep shining knowing you can always count. . .
    Might i recommend cheesy 80s ballads. A station rife with Hall n Oats. Something about neon lasers and mullets, cant help but smile!

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  6. What a great message. Just last week I heard that endorphins are sparked by exercise, dark chocolate, and Laughter. So Laughing leads to a feeling of well being! As my good friend Tere always said, We are all well watched over. You blog is a blessing, and we love you. Thank You,

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  7. You made me smile , although my choppers are not as bright and grand as yours but I smile with you today , with loving gratitude for you being a sign of Christ’s presence in the world and carrying your cross with patience and determination! As always praying for the Buna Team !

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  8. A day doesn’t go by without my prayer to Our Loving God and Father for the Holy Spirit to provide strength and healing for my sister Elise. Hang in there, He will heal you!
    God Bless all the family and friends who pray and think of you,
    Mitch

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