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A Thousand Reasons to Smile Essay

When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile. Whether it is through pain or laughter, life has an interesting way of teaching people lessons of strength and growth. When life throws a difficult task in our paths, we all have the opportunity to grow and become better individuals. Through pain and sorrow I have learned to look at life with a new perspective. My life changed that dreadful day when I was faced with the shock and undeniable truth of my little brother’s death. It was the hot month of June, 2006. The days were getting hotter and hotter and every day the news reported the lack of rain and record high temperatures. I woke up that morning with an overwhelming feeling of joy from a dream that I had of being with God. I had a conversation with him, and all I remember was him telling me how great of a person I was and how much he loved me. That feeling of joy was suddenly interrupted by a phone call from my mom.

It felt like my heart stopped beating even before the first words came out of her mouth, “Your brother was in a car accident last night and is in serious condition”, she said, her voice shaky. She couldn’t hold back the tears. My world stopped and a black cloud covered my sky. I can still remember the pain that I felt that day. The fear of losing my only brother immediately took over me, and hearing my mom’s weeping voice on the other end of the phone broke my heart that much more. The dawn broke and so did our hearts, as the news came of my brother’s passing. He was gone. Gone with the blink of an eye. I became angry at the world and especially at my little brother, who had made an unwise decision that night to go out drinking and driving. For months I went through a period of depression, denying myself of life, just as life had denied my brother of the rest of his.

There is an appointment in every disappointment in our lives. This phrase was one of the main encouragements of my life at that time; and explains the overwhelming feeling of happiness that life is offering me right now. Seven years has gone by since my brother passed away, and ironically on the day that he would turn twenty seven years old, I decided to get my hair cut, which was getting uncomfortably long for my taste. I sat straight up in the seat and nervously waited for the woman to start buzzing away at my cut, I was nervous because my wife was at home, about to take the test to determine our future, perhaps forever. If it’s negative, she’ll just text me. If its positive. . . with that, my cell phone started vibrating violently in my jeans pocket. Startled, I answered it. “Hello?” I asked, even though I knew it was my wife. “We are pregnant!” she screamed excitedly. Needless to say, I ran out of that Super Cuts, all of a sudden not caring whether my cut was long or short.

I am going to be a father. No, I am going to be a daddy. The emotions are indescribable as I imagine my future son kicking a soccer ball towards me, or my future daughter insisting we have a tea party. The joy is overwhelming when I think of how the love my wife and I share will soon be multiplied the day our baby arrives. We spend countless moments discussing what we think our child will look like, and then we laugh the discussions away by saying “as long as he or she is healthy”, which sounded like a cliché to us before we were expecting, but now is a concerning reality. But not even that could overshadow the happiness that we were experiencing as the new life was growing daily.

The same day we found out, I called my mom’s house. She answered the phone on the first ring. Her tired and frail voice told the story of what our family had gone through 7 years before. I cleared my throat, anxious to deliver the news. “You’re going to be a grandmother!” I exclaimed. Her voice shook with tears, tears of unmistakable joy this time around. Her excitement spilled over the phone and I was overwhelmed with tears to be able to deliver the news: the news of a new life, especially to the woman that had given life to me.

It is funny to me that the same tears that stream down our faces can come from tragedy but can also come from overwhelming happiness. I have experienced both, and believe that each and every one of us will at some point in our lives. It is how we allow those experiences to shape our perspectives that will vary from person to person. Life gave me a hundred reasons to cry that fateful day in June, and that’s exactly what I did. But I allowed the grieving process to teach me to never take a day of life in this world for granted. I learned to always tell those in my life that I love them, to never hold grudges, to live in peace, to see the best in people and all circumstances, and to look at the world with an appreciative attitude. I plan to share this perspective with my baby, who is due this coming September 2013. I will always tell him or her, “You are not only a hundred, but a million reasons to smile.”


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