Author’s note: My 88-year-old father is also a Catholic priest. As a widower, he entered sthe seminary at age 62 after running his own business for years. At age 65, he graduated with his master’s degree in theology and was ordained a Catholic priest. His experiences of growing up in the Depression, serving in WWII in China, raising six kids, having 18 grandchildren, and running his own business have given him insight, wisdom, and a great sense of humor about life. Here I share short wisdoms from my father the Father.
As I got up to get something out of my father’s refrigerator he said, “Oh Mike, take a look at the picture on the corner of the fridge.”
I heard him chuckle as my eyes landed on a photo of his great granddaughter Claire, grinning from ear to ear. He said, “I look at that several times a day and it just makes me smile. If she keeps doing that the rest of her life, she is going to do just great.”
That exchange reminded me of a conversation with my father not too long ago about happiness. We were discussing what makes for a happy life. He said, “Sometimes we forget the simple thing like a smile. A smile is an important thing to do and share. It makes others and ourselves feel better.”
He continued, “Sometimes when I look into the mirror, I just try and put the biggest smile on my face that I can and just hold it for awhile. I look at myself smiling. Even just seeing ourselves smile makes us feel better. I know it does for me.”
We all have a busy day in front of us that might get in the way of a smile. Today I am going to stop and think about my father’s chuckle and his simple reminder to smile, at ourselves and at each other. Sometimes the smallest things are the biggest. I leave you today with the smile of my 88-year-old father. Go ahead, smile. If you like this message, feel free to share it.