For the past few weeks I have thought a lot about Theo’s smile. Theo smiled easily and often and his smile sparkled in his eyes. It seems to me that when Theo smiled it wasn’t just an expression of his own mood — it was something he purposefully gave to others.
As a niece, I have received smiles from Theo throughout my life: when I’ve been sad or brooding, anxious, even when I was already wearing my own. More than anyone I’ve known, a smile from Theo had an impact. Their effect lingers and, even when recalled much later, still has the potency to lift a mood.
For the past few weeks I have thought a lot about all the people across the globe who are carrying a memory of Theo’s smile. Theo had a wealth of smiles and he gave them generously. There must be receptionists at hotels and taxi drivers and waiters and fellow passengers from airplanes and pedestrians from sidewalks all around the world who are carrying a memory of Theo and the smiles that he gave them. I imagine it as a photo of the Earth at night with all the little points of light.
The authentic, first-hand Theo smile is now a limited resource in our world. But I don’t think that means Theo’s life cannot continue to create new spots of light. I intend to take a lesson from Theo and start giving smiles with purpose. I hope you will join me.
While our individual smiles may not have the full power that Theo’s did, I believe that, as a combined effort, we can continue the positive momentum he brought to the world.
From Thea Roe