There is an elderly man (about 90) that lives across the hall from where my office is located at one of my work sites. I am not sure of the full history of this man but I believe he had a stroke a few years ago so he can no longer speak very well. It is very hard to understand him so the majority of the time I am guessing what he is saying although sometimes I am able to make out what he is saying. This man does not have an actual job but he makes his own jobs. For instance, he collects cans and turns them in for a profit. When I say he collects cans, he travels around the local area on his bike or 4-wheeler searching for cans, collecting them, and then turning them in. He also loves to eat at A&W and Culvers. Every afternoon, when I am at my work site, he will come strolling in with a huge grin painted on his face along with a bag from one of these places in his hands. He always looks at me with this big smile and says something about his excitement for his lunch. Every morning when he notices I am there, he looks at me with, of course, his big smile and says something like, “Hah hah,” followed by some words I cannot make out. Although I do not know what he is saying to me, what I do know is that he is overjoyed with happiness that I am there. He always makes me smile.

This man always makes me feel special and loved. Every single time I see him. But, he uses no words! He tries to use words but since I don’t understand him, his words don’t impact me. Not like his facial expressions or his actions do. And this man inspires me! Even though he is in his nineties, he is going strong. He may not be in the best health, he lives alone, I never see family come visit him (just caretakers) yet he is always full of life and spunk. With that great smile on his face.

My point; we don’t always have to use our words to make others smile or know that we are happy to see them. Sometimes just giving a big generous smile alone is sufficient. Sometimes just giving someone a hug is enough to give them what they truly need. It is just that point of “stopping” what we are doing, enough to notice someone else out there in this world full of faces, that says, “Hey! I see you, I notice you, and I think you are awesome and amazing and don’t you ever stop being you!”, all without using words. I can just picture it. I am in a hurry but I recognize someone I know and even though I don’t have enough time to stop and talk, I still give them a huge wave with a gesture of “I’m running” and I point to my wrist for gesturing time. All the while giving them a smile. And sometimes it’s just seeing someone at a store or church or school or work or wherever from afar, and simply just giving them a wave with a smile. It all points back to a, “Hey! I see YOU, I notice YOU, and I think YOU are awesome and amazing and don’t YOU ever stop being YOU!”

Love & Blessings,
TLE with tlc