Photo by Myla T. Photography
So there has been a whole lot of thought on my part lately as to what makes me me? Over the last few months there has been a whole lot of body parts go missing, many of which I had identified with who I was.
And how much fun it has been to figure out what my trademark actually is!
Over the last little while I have been having fun playing with different hats, head wraps, scarfs and wigs (green, red, blonde). It has been quite entertaining and enlightening for me. I have gone shopping with friends who will actually walk right past me if we separate until they see me smiling and then realize that it is me they have walked past.
Yesterday I was at a funeral mass for a lovely woman – she was a neighbour of ours in the rural community that I grew up in. What a special gift in life to have been born and raised in one community, especially a farming one. Although it is always difficult to say farewell to someone that we have known, she had lived a good life and left a legacy behind; one of the biggest memories in my mind was her dry sense of humour and the smile that twinkled in her eyes. This funeral was one of this events where the community gathers together and reunites again – there were many old neighbours, friends, and relatives gathered that I hadn’t seen in some time, sharing stories and laughter. I bring this story up today because this is where I was inspired for today’s blog.
There was a couple there, Mr. & Mrs. L., parents of one of my friends growing up. I haven’t seen them for years. Bear in mind that I am at this point wearing a wig that is big and curly and sassy and red (and normally have had long, straight, fine hair). When I found my Mom in the church I walked up to her and said “hey mama” and she responded with “oh it’s you, I thought that girl looked familiar”. So back to Mr. & Mrs. L.; I could see them looking at me with that “don’t I know you?” kind of confusion on their face, and as I watched I smiled and started to laugh as I could see the penny begin to drop – and as I laughed I heard her exclaim “it’s Glenna”. When I went to say hello she said she had looked at me thinking I was familiar, but as soon as I smiled and laughed she knew exactly who I was.
When I listen, people have given me hints as to my trademark throughout my years. The personnel manager at the grocery store who hired me for my first job told me the reason he hired me was for my smile. I have had friends over the years, when things have gone south and I have made my way back from the “dark side” so to speak, tell me that they are so happy to see my Glenna-smile back again. Though I am not sure if it is a compliment or not they have told me at work that they can hear my belly laugh through the office and that hopefully triggers contagious smiles and laughter there too. When I was in hospital after my mastectomy one of the nurses on the unit was a Mom of another girl I had known since elementary….as I walked the halls in an effort to get going again we would pass one another and her comment was “still that same great smile – even when in hospital”.
This last stint in hospital when I was in isolation, in order to be able to walk and get things moving properly, I needed to gown up in housecoat and mask. I had told one of my friends that the thing I hated most about that was that people couldn’t see when I was smiling at them (and the connection to people was the best part of my day). She reminded me that they would see the twinkle in my eyes, she was right that wise woman, and how much fun to receive those smiles back in return.
And then there was the time when I worked on ships. I was the Social Hostess for one of my contracts which basically meant I had was the main point of contact for the VIPs (as the cruise line identified them). The first cruise that I had taken over we actually had an Italian Princess and Marquesa coming aboard. I had asked the cruise director, hotel manager and head office what kind of protocols I should follow – after all, I am a farm girl from Alberta, what did I know about royalty and protocols to be followed. Unfortunately, or fortunately, no one seemed able to provide me with a response so I was left to my own devices to figure it out. So embarkation day came and I nervously paced the terminal waiting for their arrival with nothing in my arsenal but my smile and genuine welcome – and it was exactly what was required. These two women were lovely and both so very down to earth. It obviously could have gone very wrong had the perhaps been from a different and more formal royal family, but it reiterated yet again to me that a warm smile is truly the best thing I can offer to anyone.
Have you noticed how people light up when they smile? I have seen some of the “least attractive” (yes, that is very judgemental and shallow) people become some of the most beautiful people I have ever seen when they light their face with a smile.
And so I am truly honoured to know that my trademark is my smile and laughter. I will take that over great wealth, fame, sexy-lisious hair or a killer body any day for that comes from deep within my spirit and is something I can continue to share for many, many, many, many years to come until I smile my last time.
Wishing you a day of joy to bring a smile your way, may you understand your own trademark and the gift of its impact in the world around you.
With love, G.