formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Monday, December 16, 2013

Smile For Me

My name was supposed to be Sharon... Sharon Heather. But my dad used to say that had they stuck with that name, my initials would have been 'SHH', and that simply would have been wrong.

I don't know what he meant by that.


Instead, I was named for a song...

This one...

My Diane, by the Bachelors

Actually, the song is just called Diane, but my dad always called it My Diane, so I do, too. It came out the year before I was born and it was one of his favorites.

He used to sing it to me when I was little... and when I was big...

I love the lyrics...

Smile for me, my Diane

I'm in heaven when I see you smile
Smile for me, my Diane
And though everything's dark all the while
I can see you, Diane

You have lighted the road leading home
Oh, pray for me when you can
But no matter wherever I roam
Smile for me, my Diane

They make me smile.

And whenever I used to hear the song, especially if I was in a terrible mood, I couldn't help but smile... which was all my dad ever wanted when he sang it.

And my smile?

Made him smile.

To know that your smile can change someone's day? That it can turn the dark to light?

That's some powerful mojo, let me tell you.

When I was in college and worked at a restaurant in town, we had a customer who came in every day... he was very old, grumpy, and incredibly non-communicative. He never spoke. Never. So I made him my own little project, bound and determined to make him talk to me or even just smile. But he never did. And suddenly, after months of daily visits, he was gone. I worried about him but I knew nothing -- not even his name -- and I had no way to check on him.

And then, weeks later, he came back in. After he got his food, he asked me to sit down at his table. Astonished that he'd spoken, I, of course, sat. He told me that he'd been coming in during breaks from the hospital, where he'd been visiting his wife, who'd been battling cancer. He said they married when they were in their twenties, and his visits to the restaurant were brief respites from having to face losing the woman he'd loved his whole life.

He stopped coming in because she died.

But he came back to the restaurant because he wanted to thank me; he wanted me to know that there were days when my smile was the only thing that got him through.

The only thing that got him through.

Once, many years later, in a job interview, the human resources manager asked me if I always smiled so much.

I told her I did.

I do.

Because sometimes?

A smile can turn the dark to light.

1 comment:

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Without doubt, a smile is a light from within.