Smile for me, one last time!

Smile_one_last_timeDoes your smile leave a lasting impression? Yesterday I discovered the value of a nice smile and a pleasant manner from a most unexpected source. Her name is Candice.

I first came to notice Candice because she was typically in the cafeteria at the same times I was, that would be usually for a late lunch. I preferred the later time since I didn’t like waiting for my order in long lines. In her usual fashion, she’d show up and order some sort of meat based lunch and always asked for fries. Since I am still fairly new around the work place I didn’t have the history with the cafeteria staff Candice had. They knew her order and most times would simply ask, “…the usual Hon?” and with a big grin she’d nod a hearty yes.

On occasion Candice would engage the staff in conversation and ask questions that demonstrated genuine interest. She’d politely laugh at the lame jokes that seem to emanate from kitchen help, and it is after one such encounter I repositioned myself to read her badge. It said, Candice Green. I thought, I’m going to introduce myself to her, she’s the kind of ‘people’ I like to know.

Candice was just starting her career with the company; she dressed down, wearing form fitting jeans that showed off her figure. She worked in a back area where research is done on new technologies for the forest industry. You’d be surprised to find she held a degree in Chemistry from a prestigious university too.

She was engaged and getting ready for her honeymoon in Mexico’s warm coastal waters. Candice looked very athletic and I was amazed to find she didn’t know how to swim. She enrolled in a local program to learn how to swim so she could enjoy her time snorkeling with her soon to be husband as they started their life together.

April 3rd this lovely young woman died while learning to swim. The details are all tragic of course and without redemption.

I never actually introduced myself to her, but when I heard her name and saw the article on a local news channel website along with her picture my heart sank. For a short while I felt the pain her family must be feeling, I’ve lost family before so empathy was not difficult here.

What I remember about Candice is her pleasant smile and how she touched my life enough that I remember her. I think I will smile a bit more as I go about my days, a pleasant smile and happy disposition can leave a lasting impression. Thank you Candice for the lesson.

Thanks for reading this far.


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10 Responses

  1. OverJOY says:

    What a sad story, I like everyone else thought the ending would turn out differently. I think you should go to and post this message so her family can read the impact that she had on your life. I feel it would be so comforting to them to know.

    I hope the link works. If not you can just search on her name. Thanks for sharing the story and reminding us to live everyday as if it was our last.

  2. Tom West â„¢ says:

    Isn't it amazing that there were three lifeguards there and plenty of people to help her, and this still happened? I wonder if she was trying to teach herself to swim by herself. She must have been very afraid of something to meet this kind of end.

  3. Tim H says:

    On Thurday the department Candice worked in held a Memorial for her at the building I work in, her family and finance were in attendence. I was struck by the similarity of the comments made by those I stayed to hear, and the comments I made in my blog. I think everyone 'got' who she was and thus all the memories had a common thread of smiles and happiness. Lovely.

  4. Rose J. says:

    She not only touched your life, she is touching ours because you are sharing your memory of her. While I was reading this, I was thinking of how she seemed to be the type of person who touched many lives by her kindness and her smile. She was that type of person who made a special contact with anyone she met, and she left a lingering impression. She was probably everyone's friend. Such a sad loss for family and her fiance, and friends.

  5. ugli says:

    I kept on looking at her pic and kept wondering why the K5 logo was below her face. Then I read the tragic ending. So sad. This could have been prevented with education. She swam alone ?

  6. kathywabucks says:

    Perhaps you should write human interest stories for your local newspaper as you always seem to have one to follow. They say that everyone that we come into contact with over the span of our lives leaves some kind of impression, no matter how fleeting the contact was. Obviously that statement rings true. And perhaps those of us that have read this will remember to smile a little more often.

  7. Debra ^j^ says:

    I was thinkin' the same as Sunny…"a happy story"…it is shocking to hear of any young person with a promising future a head of them dying. I use to think "it was their time," but I do not believe that anymore when it comes to the young dying. I believe we are meant to live a long, prosperous and love-filled life. I do believe when a young person passes, God turns it to good, like your lesson in deciding to smile more often. I would also suggest, the next time you have good thoughts such as, "I am going to introduce myself to her," follow it right away. I learned that lesson, myself, a while back. I believe those thoughts, those nudges, come from God.

    God Bless, Candice and her loved ones left behind.

    Thank you for sharing this story, Tim.

  8. Tim H says:

    As losse's go, this was not really mine. You'll recall I did not actually introduce myself yet so I was effected from afar. It's bittersweet for me, really. Although it's sad she passed I am left with a wonderfully happy memory that remains and lesson in life.

  9. Sunny Bee says:

    That is sooooooo sad…..I thought this was going to be a happy story…and I was so shocked! I know that little things sometimes make a big impression…and that was just what she did with her cheerful nature….that's a blessing!!

  10. Oregoncelt says:

    Sweetie, I am so very sorry about your loss, death at any age for any reason has a tragic note. I have experienced my share of death and feel comforted in the mere fact that the person shared a part of my life, whether it was just in passing or a true bonded relationship. I am sure she was an incredible woman, she will be missed by many, but she is home now and safe from the worlds harm.