Long long time ago, a lesson was learned by me. That lesson was to laugh, to smile, even when on the inside I felt the opposite.
The year was 1986, and it was the third year in a row, that I was back at Heather Pavilion, at Vancouver General Hospital. This year I arrived in April and I stayed until nearly October. It was a long five months, and I rode out highs and lows as I received a kidney transplant, it worked really well and then failed despite best efforts.
All the tests, treatments, blood tests, sleepless days, and lack of privacy, but eventually rejection. So after five months of effort, and new hope I found myself 50 pounds lighter, and back on dialysis.
I endured it all but not alone. My wife, my parents, my closest and dearest friends all experienced it with me.
“A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life.” – William Arthur Ward
I had to learn to make it easier for them, and for me. So I told jokes, and made the nurses, doctors, students and visitors all laugh. I learned that you need to smile and laugh. You need to help others and yourself by smiling outside and it isn’t fake at all after you start. It really helped, and it even had it’s physical benefits I am sure. After all, I survived, and not everyone did that year.
“Laugh as much as possible, always laugh. It’s the sweetest thing one can do for oneself & one’s fellow human beings.” – Maya Angelou
We all have things that we need to deal with, life is change, and it will change until we die. My lesson was to not let life rob me of each day, or the chance to smile, the opportunity to encourage someone else while injecting myself also with the smile vitamin.
Sure there will be times when you have to be silent, and just be there but climb out of those holes and don’t linger there, either for yourself or those who support and care for you.
A smile is a good place to start, even when you don’t feel like it maybe especially when you don’t feel like it.