Marwa Ben Njima

Testour, Tunisia


The Power of a Smile

Many of of us remember an adult from our childhood who stands out as someone extra special. For Marwa it was a sweet, caring elderly neighbour she describes as a pure hearted woman who showed the little girl love and a joy of life, despite the woman’s own difficulties. Each day as she returned home, Marwa looked forward to stopping in for a visit with her neighbour.

Eventually Marwa realized her neighbour had cancer and as could be expected she and her family had a hard time dealing with the devastating news. Marwa and her family did the best they could to support their neighbour through her experience. For them that’s just part of the kindness lifestyle. Over time they cried together and hugged and Marwa gently reminded her that her beautiful eyes didn’t need to shed anymore tears, that she was a strong person able to face whatever came.

Marwa promised herself she would be a ray of sunshine for her friend through the illness and visited as often as she could, sometimes three times a day.. Marwa says, “in the morning to kiss her, in the evening to hug her, and in the night to kiss, hug her and say I want to see your smile all the time.”

Within a few months it was clear the cancer was too advanced and when Marwa last visited, her old neighbour smiled. Marwa was saddened by the death of her friend but she kindly reminds us that her friend’s beautiful smile is in her memories, her neighbour found peace. Most importantly, her friend lives in every smile Marwa gives and receives. That’s a legacy.

For Marwa,

quote-openIt’s the hope, the love, the affection the smile [that] make the difference even [if] it’s small, even with your smile you can make someone happy.quote-close

And Marwa reminds us that nothing makes a face more beautiful than a smile.

– Edited by Jewel Fries

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