• It’s no surprise that wherever my mom goes, she makes amazing friendships. I have heard endless stories from her “business trips with Larry.” And when I say “business,” I mean Larry’s business! ­čÖé

    I remember her first trip with my dad after he became Executive Director of NACO. She was nervous because she didn’t know anyone. Of course, that would be short lived because after that trip, not only did she make friends, but she made LIFELONG friends. You know … the type that we would all love to have?

    This past weekend, these “lifelong friends” came from Missouri and Colorado just to visit Ronda. Dick and Dana from Missouri and Chip & Erika from Colorado.

    Before I could even ask the amazing Erika if she would provide a guest post, she was already reminiscing about the weekend and how to put it all into words.

    So, I am very excited to provide you all with yet another amazing perspective from one of Ronda’s lifelong friends, Erika Taylor.

    HER SMILE LIGHTS UP A ROOM

    by Erika Taylor

    I have heard more than one person say about our friend, Ronda, “her smile really lights up a room.”
    It’s true, Ronda’s smile is brilliant. Not in a forced toothpaste-commercial sort of way either. Her smile can sneak up on you. As though it isn’t even made from her facial features themselves at all, but more a reflection of the grace bubbling up from deep inside her. Flooding not only her expression, but the whole space she occupies. Bathing anyone lucky enough to see it in it’s glow.
    It’s not always an easy smile. A life lived well is full of both celebration and tragedy alike. Joy and pain, comfort and chaos, giving, taking, and all those other things that can drown a smile if it’s not anchored deeply. Ronda has lived this sort of life and, lucky for all of us, her smile stays gracefully anchored.
    Sitting outside the hospice center in Lincoln with Ronda and Larry for lunch during Chip and my sneak-away with Dick and ┬áDana Burke this weekend, I was struck with the way her smile still fills the space she occupies. Clearly it is difficult for the muscles in her face to make the shape of a smile now. But that doesn’t dull it one bit.
    Because Ronda’s smile doesn’t come from only her face. And the space it fills isn’t just the room. It’s so, so much bigger than that. Lucky for us.
    #lipsticktherapy #GBR