January 1, 2013: Smile

When you think of the word “medicine,” you usually will think of some nasty substance that you have to drink, eat, or inject. No one likes to take medicine. It’s just something you know you must take to make whatever is making you sick go away.

If you have cancer, then the medicine is particularly nasty. But you must take it because it’s what you need to fight the cancer cells that are trying to wreck your body.

But there is another type of medicine that I think does an even better job than the chemo. It is not produced by a lab, and you don’t need a prescription to get it. All you need is a group of people who love you and can make you smile.

Stella and I just returned from spending the weekend in the U.S. When I told people we were going to be in America for just over two days, they were shocked and asked why the trip was so short.

The trip was short because Stella has weekly treatments that we can delay but can’t skip. And also, we didn’t want to leave the kids for too long. But the truth of the matter is that we didn’t need more time. This trip was not about seeing sights or taking tours or even shopping. (O.k., we did manage to fit in an hour visit to Target.)

This trip was about seeing friends. The kind of friends that could bring out Stella’s best smile. The friends that we have missed and could make us both feel that everything will be o.k.

And for that, you don’t need much time.

So our “treatment” was relatively short, but what we missed in quantity, we made up for in quality. We saw people non-stop and hung out eating, drinking, and just relishing in the embrace of a community whose love we could feel.

And as you can see, we spent most of the time with big smiles on our faces.

Which is a great way to kick off the new year.

2013 will have 12 months. That’s 365 days. It works out to 8,760 hours. Or just over half a million minutes. Or 31,536,000 seconds.

Let’s see how many of them we can spend smiling in the company of those we love.

Thanks to everyone again. And thanks to the guys who braved the cold to ride with me. I think the smile froze to my face.


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