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Friday 29 March 2013

The Man Who Smiled: Memories That Have Made Me

I am so super excited today as I am starting a new series on this blog called 'Memories That Have Made Me'.  

So much has happened in my life already, and a lot of those experiences have stayed with me.  They are not all monumentous, nor are they all life changing.  But every single one of them (and the countless more that are buried deep within me) have made me who I am.  

I hope others will join in with me and post their own memories on their blogs (or write about them in their diaries).  I will be posting mine every Friday, but it doesn’t matter when you write yours or if you wish to do them fortnightly or monthly – your writing should fit with your schedule.  If you do join I ask that you link to my blog with this link: (until I’ve worked out how to create a button for you to display) and that you will link your POST (not just your blog link please) in the comments each week (until I’ve worked out how to make a linky thing for you to add your links to – I’m really not very tech-savvy!).

I'm kicking off this series with the memory that actually kicked off the idea in the first place.  I really hope you'll enjoy it and I look forward to hearing your feedback and reading your 'Memories That Have Made Me' posts:

For the seven years I went to High School (this includes 2 years of Sixth Form), I walked there and back almost every day.  It wasn’t a particularly difficult walk (for me back then, now I can’t walk down the drive most of the time!) and I found I really enjoyed the time it gave me to just be in my imagination.

But when I think back to those walks, I very rarely think of what it was like, I just remember a certain man.  I never knew his name, and to be honest, I can’t actually remember what he looked like.  But I remember him as the man who smiled.  I would see him almost every morning; as I turned out of my close, he would be going in the other direction on his way home from his morning walk.  And every morning he would stop and smile at me and say ‘good morning’, and I would do the same.

One year we came across his house while trick-or-treating, they called me Buffy – they had a china doll with this name and they thought I looked like her, I remember the name simply because I was horrified that they’d named me after the character Buffy the Vampire Slayer (this was before I liked the show and actually hated it).  After that I would pop a Christmas card through their door every year.

I was shocked that he recognized me and had told his wife about me.  Even more so when he thanked me for cheering his mornings.  Now I wish I could say the same to him.  Back then I was too shy to say hello to most strangers, but he taught me that a smile from a stranger can totally change a day from awful to wonderful.  Since leaving High School, I have made an effort to smile at every single person I pass on the street, no matter how bad my day is.

So thank you stranger who smiled at me as I walked to school, you literally changed my life and I hope I am creating a ripple effect by following your lead.  I will always remember the effect you’ve had on me, and I hope that you are still smiling wherever you are.

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