The Smile Box

I’m not sure why I still am surprised at the capacity of how amazingly supportive everyone can be, but I am, and it needs telling, over and over. The way in which the production of love jumps to my side, in all walks and shapes and ages, is astonishing.

The Smile Box came in a package from a coworker of my husbands. Her and her most lovely daughter filled a beautiful glass box for me with true and creative little “smiles” in the form of mostly shrinky dinks (which is the absolute best thing in the world!) and little tokens of love. Accompanied by small metal hearts, a pretty rock, a seashell, a fortune, was a big old handful of small shrinky dinks emblazoned with words of love, Milo’s name, flowers, coffee cups, and even a tiny bottle of wine! The list of little treasures goes on and the best part of this incredible gift of smiles is that it made for a most precious game for Milo and I when he visited. We carefully unwrapped the gift together, explaining that our friends made this to help me feel better. What a playful time he and I had, looking at each piece as he decided that because this is for my boo-boo, they all needed to go in my boo-boo. He looked at each treasure and placed them on top of my chest where the port lives (Milo thinks this is the boo-boo site) and kept putting the little pieces down my shirt. A first it was a struggle to fight back the tears at how sweet and scary and sad this felt but once we powered through watching such an excited display, it was the most amazing game ever! The Smile Box was both literally and figuratively packed with stunning love, and of course, smiles 🙂

The Smile Box is now a term I think I will use for these magical gifts, encounters, and support that I find along this course I am on. I’m usually not this sort of cutie with my words but smiles are abound, so I’ll take the cue and add it to my list of idioms.

So yesterday afternoon, at the spurring of my dear friend, we wandered around the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, he guided me in a wheelchair, a big step for me, and I had the most amazing afternoon. It was, indeed, a smile box full. In more ways than one, the day was simply bright. I gazed upon incredible art, of which it has been two years since I have stepped into a museum (too long for me) while having a day with a most amazing friend whom I rarely get to see. We laughed and cried and discussed life, art, love and the fears of mathematical equations. At the end of my road, he got the car while I slowly hobbled from wheelchair to a faraway curb when another smile box emerged. Sedrick and Miss Lady. Miss Lady was a beautiful dog of which I complimented, she nuzzled my leg and her owner, Sedrick, a tall gentle, young man told me that I was going to be okay. He knew it. His mother had cancer, he had asked if my leg was okay as I had my cane and extremely slow gait, but he knew I had cancer. He didn’t want to pry but he expressed that I reminded him of his mother, my poise and my spirit alighted something within him that he wanted to share. He was gentle with his words, yet confident that something needed telling. He knew that I was going to get through this, he expressed assuredly. He said that I was in the right place, that she (his mother) beat hers swiftly and though mine may be different, he just knew. I said, you know, I think you are right. I told him how I, of course, missed my family, but I know this is where I am supposed to be and thanked him for sharing in my beliefs and that this positive way of thinking is the only way. He kept on telling me about his mother, his sadness on being far from her, his emotions surrounding her illness. He was an angel that wanted to share his love with me and embraced me with his words. And well, it just so happened he was from New York too! A dark, lovely angel from Harlem opened his heart to me on the sidewalk of LACMA. He walked me the whole way to the curb, to my friend and in these moments I wonder how we can part from such people. I won’t see this man again and part of me is saddened by that, but I know that is the way life is supposed to be, we have encounters, smiles, and he will go home and call his mother and I will carry that moment forever in my heart. All for the spurring of learning to use a tool when I need one, loving my day with my dear friend, and meeting Sedrick and Miss Lady; I opened a very big Smile Box.

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9 comments on “The Smile Box

  1. exiledtyke says:

    Sometimes we find what we need in the most amazing places. Thanks for making me smile today.

  2. billgncs says:

    I think love surrounds you.

  3. Fantastic story. Love, love, love the Smile Box. May it continue to bring you smiles and happiness–as your post has done for all of us!

  4. Jill says:

    When I read your post, I felt hope. For small things and big things. I felt hope for everyone, in a quiet way. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing.

  5. dear jen,

    angels do surely walk among us. you, i am sure, have been one to many. just reading what you have so beautifully and touchingly written, has made me feel as if a mantle of love, protection and hope has fallen over my shoulders, remembering all the earth angels that have crossed my path delivering messages of sheer love. thank you for sharing the story of sedrick and miss lady.

    the smile box is one of the most wonderful gifts i have ever heard of. please know, and please tell your precious friends that gave it to you, that i can’t wait to make them, too.

    i wish you a world of earth angels, smiles, and joy, jen.

    love, XOXO,

    karen, TC

    • jelebelle says:

      Oh Karen, thank you so much, what a heartfelt comment. I was happy to tell such an amazing story….I hope Sedrick feels the words out there. The smile box is great isn’t it?!
      I hope you are enveloped in love and angelic encounters always. xoxo

  6. Dana McAllister says:

    you are most certainly surrounded by so much love. your storytelling is beautiful and i can feel your warmth, your smile and all the love that surrounds you almost radiate thru my computer screen. You are a beautiful being Jen and you are without a doubt a teacher. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your soul with all of us. Love, light and peace

    Dana

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