Friday, April 25, 2008

Just to smile

I thought this letter published in MDA's Quest magazine (Vol 15, No 3) was beautiful:

The Power of a Smile

Every day I see the rays of the sun trying to lurk into my world, my little room that is occupied by a hospital bed, a ventilator, a suction machine, oxygen machine and my TV. All have their distinct noises and remind me of my condition. The sun ray plays in the walls as the day goes by. I'm visited by nurses, my husband and kids, all of whom I greet smiling, even when the pain in my body at times feels like it's killing my soul. I'm like those rays of sun that sneak into my room. I try to be happy and give everyone my happy smile.

Just last week I received a visit form one of the nurses I'd met during my hospice care. She told me she was thankful to me because I had given her a lesson in life. I wondered what that could be. I had not done anything special for the last 20 months since I got my tracheostomy and ventilator. So I smiled and asked what I had done. She told me, "You smiled at me even when you were in pain, and made me realize that I complain about my life when you're confined to a bed with a ventilator and you still smile." She gave me a hug and left.

At that time I figured out that I had a purpose, and that is just to smile.

Myrna Santiago McPhee
Belle Glade, FL

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