Does 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.