Friday, November 21, 2014

Loss Of A Smile

One of my favorite Billy Crystal movies is City Slickers.  He played a character, Mitch Robbins, and he wasn’t a very happy person.  It seemed that he tried to find meaning in a lot of different ways, in a lot of different places, and never found it. 

His two best buddies planned yet another adventure and it involved going on a cattle drive.  I’ve actually been on a cattle drive when I lived in Wyoming, and it wasn’t all that romantic and it is not my idea of a vacation.  I do, however, look back on it fondly and it does cause me to smile.  Actually laugh, because being a “City Slicker” myself, I actually started a stampede.  Not with a coffee maker like Billy Crystal’s character did, but I caused a stampede nonetheless. 

As Billy Crystal's character contemplated whether or not to go on this adventure, he had a conversation with his wife and it went like this:

His wife said, “Go and... find your smile!”

“What if I can't?”

“We'll jump off that bridge when we come to it.”

Sad thing when one can’t find a smile.

On Facebook several days ago, there was a video clip of a girl who took a picture or video of herself every day for one year.  The young girl lived in Syria.  At the very beginning, she was bright and bubbly and full of smiles and giggles.  And then war and conflict happened.  The video began to show her fear, and then her sadness.  The final shot of her celebrating her birthday showed a much different little girl.  She was in a hospital bed.  Her hair wasn’t as neatly kept.  There were dark circles under her eyes.  And as the cake and lit candles were held in front of her, there wasn’t a sign of the bright, bubbly little girl seen just one year previous.  There were no giggles.  There was no smile.

Sad, very sad, when a child loses a smile.  Sad when a child can’t find a laugh.

Loss Of A Smile.

You and I know people who go through life, a month, a week, a day, without a smile.  Sadness oozes out of their pores until there is nothing left but an empty . . . and lonely . . . shell.  And if a smile is managed, it never seems to touch one’s eyes.

Ever since my son, Wil, was killed, there have been staff members and friends checking in on me.  Just a “How are you doing today?”  or “How’s it going?” or “Everything going okay?”  Sometimes, someone sticks his or her head in my doorway and gives me a wave.  And the thing is, it will “hit” me every so often at odd times and without warning. 

But I have to admit that at times, I lose my smile. It might not be long before it comes back.  Usually there is something to smile about, to laugh about.  But for that brief moment . . . perhaps a long moment, the smile vanishes.

I’m not advocating that, like Billy Crystal’s character, one needs to go on a cattle drive to find a smile.  I don’t know that it takes something that drastic or grand to find a smile.

But I want you to know that as I write this, I am smiling, because there is much to smile about.  Great memories.  Great friends.  Knowing that people genuinely care and extend themselves, and reach out because, after all, we’re all in this together.  It’s life.  And we find life everywhere and in this life, there are things to smile about, to laugh about.  There are always things to be thankful for.  No need to ever lose a smile for very long.  Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:
I can be found on Twitter at @JRLewisAuthor and my author page on Facebook can be found at

My two books are doing very well.

For only 99cents (free on Kindle Unlimited), you can purchase Taking Lives at It has received 27 reviews: 21Five Star and 4 Four Star. Taking Lives is the prequel to my trilogy.

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe