The Beauty of Being Blind

To my amazement, over the past year and a half, I’ve continued to receive Smile Cards on a regular basis to take to the Brigham. Sometimes they’re from friends or family but more often than not, they’re from individuals or groups that I’m not associated with or know personally. Upon returning from the Cape on Saturday, I was immediately greeted with two batches of cards from different people. After we unpacked, I started reading thru them and, as I always am, I was moved by the kind words these strangers were writing to patients. But as I was reading through them, my mind wandered to the many tragic events that have unfolded in our country and throughout the world in the past month. It struck me, quite poignantly, that the many children and adults writing these cards don’t know who they’re writing to so they certainly don’t know the patients’ race or religion or gender or sexuality. They just know that they’re a human being. A human being in need of some support and so they selflessly offer their love, prayers and healing thoughts to complete and total strangers.

I wish that we could all see the world like the people who write these smile cards do…blind to the labels society puts on people. Blind to whether or not the person is voting for Hillary or Trump, blind to what kind of car they drive or what God they believe in or whether they’re gay or straight or transgender. They’re blind to it all; all except the fact that there’s a human being on the other end of that card, there’s a human being in a hospital bed that has a family and friends that love them. In the end, isn’t that all we really need to know? A person, just like us, is in need… We should help. 
It’s time we see people truly for the heart that beats within them.
Thank you to every single person who has written a Smile Card over the past year and a half. You’re making the world a more caring place. Keep them coming!
Lots of love & light,

Jessy

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So Many Smiles

Over 350 Smile Cards are on route to the Brigham!!!! I have received letters from so many people wanting to help in this small initiative and it makes my heart so full. Keep them coming; there are always patients that need a little pick-me-up! 





Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who has helped me with this. You truly are making a difference.
Lots of love & light,

Jessy 

A Card to Make Me Smile

Last week when I got home from work, I had a letter in the mail from a sender I didn’t know. I opened it and this is what appeared ….

   
“Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle.”

  
A very simple note, from a complete stranger that made me feel so warm inside and gave me energy I didn’t knew I had that day. 

I got my own SmileCard. And you know what?! It worked. I smiled so big and was so touched by someone’s small act of kindness. 

So first of all, thank you to whoever sent this— it’s exactly what I needed. 

Secondly, this inspires me to keep writing cards- they make a difference. If you want to make a difference in someone’s day, write a Smile Card- write a few, whatever comes to you, and send my way (2Webster  St. Somerville, MA 02145). I’ll take them to the hospital- there are ALWAYS patients that need them.

As we start this new week, let’s take from the important of this saying– don’t let anyone or anything dull your sparkle- you have a lot of sparkle so let it shine! 

Lots of love & light,

Jessy 

Holiday Season Smiles

My heart was so full yesterday as I was able to bring 150 Smile Cards to The Brigham. What’s even more amazing is that I had just brought a ton about two weeks ago and I know I have about 50 more to bring next week! 

Before I left TJX, I sent out an email to the entire marketing department asking for their help in my little task, especially going into the holiday season as I wanted to be able to bring many cards as this is an especially hard time to be “locked” up there. I had thought it’d be nice if I got a few of them, hoping some people would be motivated enough to write up some. And then I got this picture….

  
The entire HomeGoods creative team, crafting and putting together some of the most beautiful smile cards that I’ve ever seen! 

   
    
    
    
    
    
   
These came in a box FULL of cards. Full of different kinds, different sayings, different notes but all the same sentiment– love and compassion. One of the amazing employees there had put a box out in the common area and encouraged people to write a few and simply drop them in the box. I couldn’t believe it. SOOO much more than I expected but what an incredible surprise!

   
 
And THEN I get an email from a co-worker who let his sister (who’s a teacher) know about the initiative and she wanted to get involved. So I’ve since been in contact with this amazing lady who’s gotten her class to do it and has enlisted many of the classes throughout the school! I couldn’t be more ecstatic! 

To all my friends, Michael, my family (and my moms school!) and all the TJXer’s and the family and friends they’ve gotten involved in this little initiative… THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart, I am so grateful for you taking the time to bring someone else a smile, to remind them that they’re not alone in what is obviously an incredibly difficult time. You’ve chosen to make a difference in a strangers life and that’s truly a beautiful thing. 

Lots of love & light,

Jessy 

Smile Cards

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As many of you know, I spent weeks upon weeks in the hospital in 2014 (and a few in 2015). Being “locked up” in the hospital is hard— the days are long, the nights are kind of scary and the mornings are the toughest, as you feel like you’re waking up in a bad dream. During my many stays, the one constant that would always make me smile, even at my lowest points, was being able to open a card that someone had sent. My initial stay, I was blessed to have multiple cards to open every day. I would wait until morning to open them with my breakfast as I was typically alone during this time and it would remind me that people were thinking and praying for me. Truly, every single letter would help lift my spirits. I’ve kept each one as they made such a difference in my days. I know, however, that not everyone is as lucky as I was to be able to get cards so frequently. I also know that ever single person deserves that at the very least. They deserve to know that someone, no matter who that someone is, is thinking of them and keeping them in their thoughts and prayers. They deserve to have something put a smile on their face during the day, even if just for a split moment.
That’s why Mike and I have begun writing cards to patients of 7D (the oncology floor I stayed on). The letters are not long or full of wisdom, just simple notes to let these warriors know that they’re not alone, that there are complete strangers that are keeping them in their thoughts. Knowing this, as a patient, really makes a difference. It’s a touching feeling when you realize that people really care.
In one of the cards that I received over a year ago said the following words…
“You are strong. You are loved. And you WILL get through this.” 
These words have rung through my head probably a million times over the past year. They have acted as a self-affirmation for me when I’m feeling down, or when I need to be reminded that I can do this. Those three sentences have helped me get through a lot of tough times— and I have the person who wrote them in that greeting card to thank for that.
I wanted to let you all know what we’re doing in hopes to inspire you to write a few yourself. They can be about anything— a funny story, an inspirational note, words of encouragement — whatever you feel fitting! Mike was hesitant at first as he thought he wouldn’t be able to relate to them since he’s not a patient himself, but I reminded him, it’s not about being able to say “I’ve done it too” but rather “I’m thinking of you.” SO, if you’d like to help in this little quest of putting smiles on the faces of some very deserving people— feel free to send me cards addressed to “one very strong Brigham patient!” I am going to begin dropping them off every Wednesday when I come in for my treatments.
My address is: 2 Webster St. Somerville, MA 02145
Many thanks and lots of love,
Jessy