Today is an unusual day, to say the least. Normally families would be gathering to celebrate the greatest event of all time, the resurrection. They would start with church. In my younger days this meant new clothes. Girls wore beautiful Easter dresses and bonnets and in those days even little white gloves. Boys would sport their bow ties and sport coats, like it or not. Church pews would fill to overflowing, many who didn’t attend any other time of the year would pack in, many times having to pull out the metal chairs. It was a joyous day filled with hope and excitement and celebration. Dinner would often follow with many traditional dishes being served. Following would be Easter Egg hunts and dying of eggs and family and friends gathered together in homes around the world. Sounds almost like a Hallmark movie or a Norman Rockwell painting doesn’t it?

This year, the year of 2020, will be different, not only in America, but around the world. I’ve never felt closer to people I’ve never met or countries I’ve never visited until now. I received a comment on my blog post “I Cried Today” from someone in another country. She reached out to me to thank me for the post and several emails followed. She is a mom a wife, a friend, an amazing artist and a very talented writer. She is also a believer in something bigger than us. We connected in a way I can’t explain. She and her country are battling the war with the virus too. We talked about that and in her words “we are on different continents, yet feel the same pain.” Isn’t that profound when it is just that simple? Through her I have experienced the love of a family and her very talented children’s videos and small intimate worship service. It has been a blessing I can’t explain. How do people come into our lives at just the right moment and say just the right things? How do we comfort each other on different continents? I, as I’ve said before, do not think it’s by chance. I am beyond blessed by this encounter and maybe someday the two of us will meet. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Blessings come in all forms. Right now, we are blessed by all those battling the “monster”, from front line to those listening and doing the right thing. I have never been more proud of the nursing profession than I am today, but I’ve never appreciated every single other person who makes my life what is is, more than I do today.

As I entered my hospital today, I looked around and everywhere people were wearing masks. I spoke to all I passed, just like I always do, but it was different. I realized I couldn’t see their expression, I couldn’t see them smile. They couldn’t see me smile. This left me sad and empty in a way I can’t explain. I couldn’t shake it. I felt an overwhelming group of emotions, sadness, fear, and uncertainty. Life without smiles is like a bin of broken toys. At one time they brought great joy, but now the box is different and the joy is missing. Can the toys be fixed and the smiles return. Isn’t that really what this weekend is really all about, the promise of a better tomorrow. What are we willing to give up to have that better tomorrow?

Our current situation is tough, regardless of circumstances. In some respect, every single person around the world is suffering and sacrificing. Some have their lives on the line, some are wondering if they’ll survive, some are giving up things they’ve never been without, and some are losing their lives. Is this the box of broken toys? Will it be ok? The resurrection is the guarantee that it will. It may not look the same, it may not feel the same, it may be a mere shadow of former life, but like grief, the sun will rise and shine bright, the masks will slowly come off, the fear will subside and the joy will return.

I genuinely believe we will be ok because the stone will roll away and we will emerge triumphant, better, more appreciative, more caring people, a kinder, gentler, more patient society. The stone will roll over the “monster” and everyone will breathe again, long, deep, cleansing breaths, and we will begin again, rebuilding, helping and supporting each other and never forgetting.

Remember as we search for our way out of the maze, we need to look out for each other. Some will stumble and some will fall. We need to be there to catch each other, even if we are separated by miles, oceans or continents, we are one. We are walking the same path this time and we are all afraid. I choose to look forward today and keep my eyes peeled for the promise of a new tomorrow. I can’t wait to see the masks come off and the smiles return on the faces of our world.

Happy Easter everyone.

4 thoughts on “LIFE WITHOUT SMILES…”

  1. Carolyn, I was struck by the same thought as I was leaving work earlier this week. I always have made a point of smiling at people coming in to the hospital and realized with mask wearing that they couldn’t see that. I will wish them good morning instead until I can smile visibly again. Thank you as always for sharing your story. Miss seeing you!

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  2. Your pictures are so precious. I love seeing you as a little girl. Your words so true and pointed. Thank you for all you do for everyone. We love you. Happy Easter.

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  3. Carolyn, I love your pics – and they put a smile on my face! Your white shoes, lace socks, cute pocketbook, bracelet and those precious ringlets in your hair gave me joy and remembrances of “back in the day” when our lives were innocent and carefree. Our worlds are much bigger now as we have grown up, seen heartache, felt loss, and been lonely. Most importantly, we have felt lots of love through the years; we have been blessed beyond measure, and that, my friend, also puts a big smile on my face! I am so thankful that your blog is reaching many around the world. You are being used by God to help and encourage others going through their own personal losses and the current world crisis. I know God is smiling as He sees how you are being His angel to many in need of love and encouragement. I’m sure each of those you touch are smiling because of you! Thank you, my friend, for your words and pics on this day. Tomorrow as we celebrate Easter in a very different way, we can remember that Easter is the assurance that as surely as spring follows winter, GOD HAS A PLAN. Happy Easter with lots of love!

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