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Chronic Snarkopolist: The Smile

Post Published: 04 May 2011
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Category: chronic autoimmune conditions column, Chronic Snarkopolist, Column
This post currently has 5 responses. Leave a comment

Hello my loves!

Once, during my most painful time, when I hurt more than any day I can express I look out the window on the way to the hospital.  I thought to myself, “How can I do this? How can I possibly endure this when no medicine will stop this pain?”  A woman looked out her window at a stoplight and smiled at me.

It was the smile that stopped time. I held on to her smile the entire day. From her I knew there was hope. Hope for pain free days. Hope for life. Hope for living normal again.  In the hospital I spent countless days counting to from 1 to 10 over and over and holding on to her smile.  That woman will never know what she gave me.

All those days my yoga instructors would spend making us count our breaths used to annoy me.  It was then that I understood, when there is breath there is life.  Without our breath we have no life. My yoga instructors will never know the gifts they gave helping me focus on my breath. But I know this – NO amount of pain medication or opiate drugs decreased my pain. When I counted my breath and focused on a smile I made it. Her smile promised there was humanity, LIFE, hope.

Through heart monitors and blips and beeps and countless hours and tubes there was HOPE.  I will never be able to thank the people who gave me the gifts I needed to have that hope.  But what I can do is reach out and reach back and in my own way share my gifts.  And promise that we all have a smile, we all have a way to give hope.  And some days, we might be someone’s unknowing anchor.

I know that smile held the knowledge of my own humanity from the promise of another woman’s smile.  Because of her I endured. I got through.

Thank you to my unknown smile. Thank you to the woman who gave it to me. May you have a thousand reasons to smile and a thousand returned smiles for the one you gave me when I couldn’t return yours.

Thank you to my yoga instructors, who for years have made me learn the power of breath. Thank you for the making me learn the “boring” part of yoga. Thank you for helping me learn to control my breath and slow my exhale longer than my inhale. Your wisdom is ingrained in my body’s healing.

Thank you for reading my gratitude today.  I would love to hear yours. I would love to hear your stories of unexpected healing of accidental joy, of good things that came of pain.  There are so many times we have gained slowly over the years and used it without thinking (like yoga). I would love to hear your stories! How have you been given gifts of smiles or kindness? Tell me! I must know!

I will see you same time next week! Kiss kiss!

-Melissa

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5 Responses to “Chronic Snarkopolist: The Smile”

  1. Jody Schoger says:

    Accidental joy! I could write a book. As I stand here (I finally started standing at my desk because I sit too much) my dog is sitting and looking up at me. She wants to go for a walk. That’s a simple moment and through awareness we find them.

    Thank you for an awesome post. You ARE a joy.

    love,
    Jody

  2. Melissa Travis says:

    Love you so much Jody!
    You alway know what to write and what to say! And yes- there is accidental joy.

    Thank you for writing in and commenting! How I adore you so much!
    xo
    Melissa

  3. Jackie Fox says:

    Melissa, I LOVED this post. Nothing is more powerful than a smile or a laugh, or a hug. You want our stories of gratitude and joy? I have way too much to be thankful for and far too many random acts of kindness to recount here. But I have told people I remember driving to work one day in the middle of my breast cancer treatment. The sun was shining and the birds were singing and I suddenly felt like a character in a Disney movie. And I couldn’t come up with a reason other than it felt good to be alive and driving to work. Trying to figure out “why” may not be useful. We need to just accept the joy and happiness that come our way.

  4. Maureen says:

    Great post. I am the smiler in the group. I love smiling at somebody and watching their face transform. Suddenly a smile is forming and I can see a twinkle in their eyes. The thing that gets me is a gentle touch or when somebody tells me that everything is going to be okay. That gets me through my pain to know that this too shall pass and some days will be tolerable. Thanks again for wonderful post. Its amazing what we can find going on around us if we can just quiet our spirits enough to see…

  5. Lolly says:

    Melly Mel

    I am smiling but it doesn’t mean I am happy, I understand that a smile from someone we don’t know can make a whole heep of difference to how we feel so I go around wearing a permanant smile to hide away how I feel and hope that it will brighten someone elses day.

    smilinging at you baby.

    Lolly xoxo sorry I’ve been away so long, I lost myself.

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