Mad for…Holly

Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful. (Thich Nhat Hahh)

Smiles translate into any language perfectly. One which is genuinely offered signals compassion and a welcoming heart. It means kindness and warmth resides inside a person. Holly Ives is a woman who gives those glorious authentic smiles away to EVERYONE. To me, it’s her defining quality, and because of her authentic smile, I really believe she might be one of the most beautiful people I know.

On a day when she’s found life a little irritating, she mixes that famous smile with a little sarcasm and just the BEST laugh around. A few times over the years in the carpool line at St. Louis de Montfort, I encountered her on such an occasion. I left her cracking up in these instances, because I thought to myself how much prettier her tempter tantrums were than my own. I’d love to say she helped me adjust my sails and adopt her approach, but that would really be a lie, and since I JUST participated in the sacrament of reconciliation, I’d prefer not to sully my (still mostly) lilly white soul, ha??!!

A stubborn, slow learner is what I am, but nevertheless I find Holly very amusing and also inspiring. You see, when life brings lemons, Holly throws a little sass and smartassery at it, then she throws her head back, laughs and grins at it. As we all know, when you smile, life smiles back. When I was a kid, my favorite great aunt used to LOVE an old, eccentric comedian named Phyllis Diller. I have to admit she made me laugh too. In a few important ways, Holly reminds me of Phyllis who was famous for saying, “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.

The mother of two amazing, intelligent kids named Renee and David, Holly is also the wife of a quick-witted man named Erik. I’ll be honest. I have not a single clue where Holly is from originally or where she went to school. I don’t know much detail at all, which I suddenly find somewhat tragic. I do know these things. She’s a supportive and loving mother who is incredibly bright…and just plain fun to be around. When I leave her, I am always better for having had the interaction. At the end of the day, if we leave someone feeling more filled with joy than when we arrived, is that not exactly what it looks like to sprinkle a little Jesus around in this world?

Happy Birthday, Holly! I hope your people love you up today in a big way, because you are nothing short of spectacular! This Thanksgiving week, I wanted you to know that you make me feel welcome, warmed, and when I leave you, I am usually giggling a little. I am so very grateful. THANK YOU FOR BEING THE FACE OF JESUS TO ALL IN YOUR PATH!

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