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The Smile

He saw that I needed it and he provided.

I was at a low point in my life contemplating leaving my husband, frightened by what would happen to me if I did, equally as frightened by what might happen to me if I didn’t. It was 5:30 and I was stuck in traffic in the oppressive humidity of a Pennsylvania summer afternoon. I sat in my car with the windows rolled down staring at the ground outside my door, my mind in torment, my face the picture of sadness.

I looked up and saw just 15 feet away a handsome young man sitting much as I was, caught in traffic but headed the other way. Then our eyes met and he smiled at me, a big, warm smile. His entire being smiled at me with such love that I jumped and quickly looked away. I was caught off guard, unprepared for the compassion I saw in his eyes. But the package was delivered. In an instant I felt better, loved, worthy. A total stranger had broken the spell of chaos I was under.

Over the following months while I pursued my divorce and even over the years since then I have thought about that guy and the gift he gave me. At times when I didn’t think I could take any more pain I thought of how a total stranger had offered me that loving smile, no strings attached. He saw that I needed it and he provided. I wish I knew who he was so I could thank him, or maybe give him one back.


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