My cousin Toy died from cancer last night. 

Her death causes me to reflect upon how precious life is. We are often so focused on our own lives and struggles that we rarely think about what someone else is going through.

I don’t ever remember a time that we didn’t get along as kids. We would spend happy times at my aunt’s house, usually roller skating in the basement. She just had one of those personalities that chose to be happy all the time. The one thing about Toy that I always loved was that she was ALWAYS smiling.

She always looked at the positive side. She fought cancer for many years and while I’m sure she suffered through more than we can imagine, one thing never changed, she was always smiling. I honestly am not sure how someone who was going through so much pain could still smile. But that’s who she was. She was that way her whole life. No matter what was going on, Toy chose to smile.

Often when I would start to get down or angry about some minuscule problem in my life I would think about Toy, about how my tiny problems were nothing compared to what she was facing every day. She smiled all while knowing her body was in a daily fight to just be here. She taught me to smile through any problem. She taught me that our attitude about life makes all the difference in how we live.

Right now I feel a rush of emotions. I’m hurt that she’s gone but content knowing she is no longer in pain. Cancer seems to take away some of the most amazing people. 

What I want to share about my cousin Toy that we can all use in our lives is to smile. No matter what you’re going through…smile. No matter how big your problems seem to be…smile. Life really is what you choose it to be. So make it worth living. And, never forget to smile.

Toy, I “Love You Infinity” too. 


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