4 stories that will warm your heart

First For Women - - Contents -

“I tear­fully breathed in my mother’s vanilla per­fume as we shared our good­bye hug. ‘Re­mem­ber, you’re only mov­ing two states away,’ she as­sured. ‘Don’t lose your happy!’

“It was her sig­na­ture phrase, and she’d al­ways lived up to it. In fact, she’d drawn smi­ley faces on ev­ery­thing—from her bills to my birthday cards—as a re­minder that joy can al­ways be found when we look for it.

“Yet as I be­gan my lonely drive from Ohio to New York for a job trans­fer, Mom’s cheer felt fur­ther away with each pass­ing mile. And by the time I stopped for lunch, I was in tears. But as I paid, I no­ticed the wait­ress had drawn a smi­ley face on the check…and my heart in­stantly light­ened.

“From then on, I saw smi­ley faces ev­ery­where: on a truck at the gas sta­tion, in the snow at a rest stop, on my cof­fee cup when I stopped at a café.

“‘How’s the drive?’ Mom asked when she called later. ‘Great!’ I said feel­ing new hope. “‘I think happy found me!’” —Kat Smith, 40, Dal­las

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