It was just a smile. But it made a world of difference.
It was an early morning doctor appointment. I hadn’t slept well, hadn’t eaten, and didn’t really want to be there, but this doctor is difficult to schedule with, so there I was.
When the nurse called my name, I met her at the door. For some reason – or none – I smiled at her. “Good morning! How are you on this fine day?” I asked.
For a split second there was a stunned look, which was quickly replaced by a smile that lit up her face. “I’m great. How about you?” Her response warmed me to my toes. We chatted lightly as she took my vitals, then I had a few minutes to wait for the doctor and ponder.
I’m one who is easily cynical and grumpy, so I’ve been trying to be more gracious in my thinking and interactions. Looking for the simple things in my life to be grateful for, the small beauties to enjoy. I often have to be deliberate about this because it doesn’t come as naturally as the snark. Perhaps that was what prompted my address to her. I certainly didn’t expect the brilliance of her smile in response, or the way it warmed me. But I welcomed it.
I’d like to think that simple interaction made her day. Perhaps it gave her a little boost to deal with the more difficult patients to come, or those who were sick or facing difficult decisions. Maybe she had a chance to pass that small grace on; maybe not. It doesn’t really matter.
It did make my day. I was still smiling as I drove home, and I continued to think about that simple smile the rest of the day – after I got my nap!