In 2003 I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy which is a paralysis of the facial nerve, causing muscular weakness in one side of the face. I panicked when I woke up one rainy spring morning, thinking that I was having a stroke. I was taken to the emergency room where the polite (and very handsome AND very short) Asian male doctor diagnosed my condition.
He told me that there was no known cure for Bell’s Palsy but that the nerve would heal itself over time.
Well, it has been ten years and the nerve in the right side of my face has not been restored completely. I still have a slight droop at the corner of my mouth and because of that, I am very self-conscious about smiling.
BUT, my family has been so good to me and their love for me is second to none. My fourteen year old daughter, Erica loves taking pictures with the new Cannon camera her father got her for Christmas. She’s always trying to catch me ‘smiling’ which, the moment I see her handy camera, I usually run away laughing and hiding my face in my hands.
“Stop it Mama,” she’ll demand. “Just let me take one picture without you covering up your mouth, please.”
Well, today I did, and was pleasantly surprised to see the inner reflection of my soul being displayed on my face. It was the look of Happy, which by the grace of God, I AM today.
I may not have everything I want, but I’m Happy. I don’t smile the way I used to but I’m healthy, in love with my husband, raising beautiful and amazing children and I’m Happy! I don’t need a perfectly aligned smile on the outside of my face because the smile I have in my heart and soul is priceless!