i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

Smile at someone today and chase away their tears


This morning I stood in line to buy an extra-large latte in the basement of a hospital. Nurses, doctors, friends, family members of patients waiting to buy coffee. The barista was wearing a plaid shirt over a white t-shirt. Hanging down the front of his t-shirt was an ornate cross, brown on a long chain. His brown hair was short. He was wearing a smile.

After he handed me my coffee and I handed him four dollars, he looked past me and started to take the next order. I asked him, ” Excuse me, may I please have cold milk added to it.”

He could have been angry, or perhaps he might have been perturbed. The line was long, and I wanted more milk. A mild inconvenience but it could have bothered him. You have met people in the service industry who don’t like to be asked for anything extra. The tightening around the eyes, a sigh, or aย tisk, and you know they are bothered by your request.

Beneath the surface of the skin on my face was a flood. A flood of tears. Waiting. Waiting.

The barista smiled and added the milk.

At the end of the day, there was no line for coffee. The barista in the plaid shirt, with the cross and the smile was wiping down the counter. filling the sugar container. I walked past and then stopped at the counter making a line of one.

“Hey, I just wanted to thank you for your smile this morning. Your smile made a bad day better. I know you are serving coffee, but what you do matters. Your smile matters. Thank you.”

Smile at someone today and chase away their tears.

He looked at me. He said, “Thank you.” Or he said something like that. Or maybe he didn’t say anything. But he smiled again. Then he came around the counter and hugged me. A hug like he was your brother and you just needed a good cry.

And I did.


To weep is to make less the depth of grief.
โ€• William Shakespeare

Thank you. May I give you a smile? Please email me, [email protected] or comment here if you would like me to pray for you.
All my best,

About Pamela Hodges

I write slice of life stories to help you know you are loved, valuable and worthy just as you are. I am a writer, an artist, and a cleaner of seven litter boxes. I live in Pennsylvania with one husband, four cats, one dog and two birds.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • A boat load of smiles sailing your way, cara mia.

  • Oh, wow, what a beautiful, powerful, post. I’m a great believer in the power of a smile. I do it all the time, especially when there are grouchy sales attendants….. [LOVE your blog!!!!]

    • Hello Helen,
      And your kind words help me to smile. Thank you for your encouragement.

  • Thanks for a good post. Praying for you Pamela and for your daughter.

    • Hello Anne,
      Thank you Anne for your friendship and your prayers.

  • La McCoy

    Beautiful story.

    • Thank you Laura,
      Please give a hug to Edelweiss.
      And one for you.

  • Julie-Anne Mauno

    Pamela, you did this for me just the other day! Thank you!! xoxo

    • Hello Julie-Anne
      And you did it for me today.
      You are very welcome.

  • God knew just what you and the barista needed and He made sure you both were at the receiving end, just in time. I stood with you and felt those tears under the skin, waiting for someone to open those flood gates. The best posts are heartfelt by your readers. I truly pray your daughter will improve soon.

    • Shelley,
      Thank you.
      Your concern and friendship really do help.

  • kathunsworth

    Have been thinking of you Pamela and hope your beautiful daughter is getting better. I said some prayers just before bed last night and hope your prayers have been answered.

    • Hi Kath,
      Thank you for your prayers last night. They were answered and she is getting better.

      • kathunsworth

        Thats Good news Pamela.

  • Michelle Salerno

    I hope you’re able to smile today! I hope everyone is ok – why were you at the hospital? i’m sure you probably don’t want to share that here. But I’m worried for my friend. I’ll put you on the prayer list in bible study today. XOX

    • Good Morning Michelle,
      All is well and thank you for your prayers.

  • Janelle

    Oh Pamela. Smiling today as much as possible, in your honour. Love this post so much!

    • Good Morning Janelle,
      Thank you for the smiles. Your smiles, like a Saskatchewan prairie sunrise, brighten my day.

  • mary anne wassem

    There is something really touching about you, Pamela. When your e-mails come they know how to touch my heart. Smiling back at you… Mary Anne

    • Good Morning Mary Anne,
      Thank you for sending me a smile.
      I pray your day is full of sunshine and laughter.

  • And now there are tears in my eyes! I’ll try to remember to smile more often. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Good Morning Erika,
      Your smile would brighten the day of anyone who sees it.
      Sending you a smile today from Pennsylvania.

      • Thanks, it warmed my heart! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m still praying.

  • Berdeane Bodley

    Oh my dear, thank you to that man who gave you a smile when you most needed it, not fun to feel all alone in a bad situation. I always smile even when I am feeling bad, no one wants to be around someone who mopes all the time, remember, if we smile it even makes us feel better. Sending you love & a SMILE Pamela. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Good Morning Mom,
      Your smile always brightens my day. Even if you live two thousand miles away, and I don’t get to see your smile as often, or hear your laughter. The thought of your smile makes life better.
      I love you Mother.
      Love your daughter.

  • Thank you for this reminder today Pamela! You never know the kind of day someone else is having and power of a smile can be a remarkable comfort!

    • Good Morning Kim,
      I pray you have many smiles in your life today.
      And you are very welcome.