I smile back and think about my beautiful sister - Seeds of Happiness

I smile back and think about my beautiful sister

I smile back and think about my beautiful sister

May 24, 2017

Dear Smile Factory,

I wanted to reach out and thank you for the amazing things that you do. Your Seeds of Happiness are such an amazing creation used to spread joy and I absolutely adore them!

I also wanted to share with you how much my seed of happiness means to me as well as tell you my story. When I was in 5th grade, my older sister was diagnosed with cancer. She went through many rounds of chemo and radiation and became cancer free about a year later. Life went on and things were going great until she went in for her check up and found that the cancer was back. She decided to fight and go through more chemo and radiation. After battling for about a year, she decided she couldn’t fight anymore. She ended up passing away on May 24 2016. I was only 14 years old at the time and as one can imagine, this was very hard on my family. She was a huge part of my life and I think about her every day. Every time I look at the little smile I can’t help but smile back and think about my beautiful sister.

On our first Christmas without Maddy, my sister, our family friend gave my family a bag of your seeds. Reading about your company really struck my heart. I thought what an amazing way to honor someone who was lost. Since then I have ordered many bags of seeds and have given them to people who have gone through something tough or a loss of someone they loved. I wanted them to smile just as I did when I received my seed.

During my junior year of high school I took a ceramics class and fell in love with clay. It always calmed me down and let me get lost in my thoughts while thinking about Maddy. Last year I took a sculpture class in my senior year of high school and I could not be more excited to get my hands on more clay. One of the assignments was to make a “personal statement.” With the anniversary of Maddy’s death coming up, the one thing that I couldn’t get out of my mind was the amazing seeds of happiness. I decided to created an extremely large seed to give to my parents for what I like to call, Maddy’s angel-versary. When the day came my parents were brought to tears when I gave them the final products. From then until now my mom has had the giant seed of happiness on display in my house right when you walk in the front door. By doing this everyone who enters my house is greeted by a huge smile to brighten their day:)

Thank you for taking the time to read this and again for creating the wonderful seeds of happiness!



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I am a receiver, not a giver. 

At the place I work, working in the parking booth is one of the more tedious positions to have. You spend the entire day outside, saying mostly the same thing over and over again. Each interaction takes about ten seconds but somehow people still find a way to not listen to you. It wears on you. And unlike every other position here you don’t get many opportunities to make human connections. When I do I jump at the chance. 

It’s been sunny lately, which means everyone is wearing sunglasses which means the ticket machine is hard for people to see. The solution is to tell people “I recommend taking your sunglasses off.” I guarantee you I have heard every variation of comment that can be made after this recommendation: “That helps.” “Polarized lenses.” “Wow, I couldn’t see anything!” I’ve seriously thought about keeping a tally. I know it sounds like I’m a complete stick in the mud, but imagine being a pilot and every passenger tells you to not let your arms get tired while flying the plane. Everyone is looking for a laugh and you have to give them at least a chuckle, every comment, 8 hours a day. The first day is fine, if a bit annoying. The second day you’re starting to wish someone would come up with a better joke. The third you can no longer pretend to be amused.   It is honestly personal connection moments that keep me from losing my head.

The one this story is for started out like any other. “I recommend taking your sunglasses off.” A jokey comment. The woman says to me “I imagine it must get frustrating saying that all the time.” I pull off my own sunglasses and say, “you have no idea.”  “Oh yes I do,” she says. Really?, I think, you also work in the service industry? “Because,” she says, “I’ve become one of the people you have to say that to!” Im not recounting the dialogue exactly as it occurred - it’s been maybe 40 minutes since this happened and I’ve been interrupted several times. But this was truly funny for me. Truly fun. I could count the moments I’ve genuinely laughed with a visitor on one hand, and I’ve worked here for nearly three years. And I’ve never had a laugh in parking.

Then she said, “you know what, I’m gonna give you this.” I will admit my heart dropped a little there. Because I was expecting a religious leaflet or something. We get those a lot. One of my last genuinely fun conversations ended with a religious leaflet, and I was very disappointed about that. I’m already a Christian, you are producing trash. I throw those away without reading them. But I take it anyway, and tell the woman, “I’ll take this but you can’t hand them out inside.” She said, “I wasn’t planning to, and it’s not religious.” Oh! Color me surprised!

She drives into the lot, leaving me with a teeny business card thing and a sandwich bag with an orange rock in it.  Okay, let’s see what this is. The card had this web address on it, but I was more drawn to the orange rock. The clay seed. I turn it around, grinning from ear to ear before exclaiming aloud, “It’s a little man!!” I’m a sucker for little mans: Plushes, tiny action figures, carvings, even bugs. Little mans, all of them, and I can’t get enough.

I will go home today probably tired, probably a little frustrated. I’ll have to figure out dinner, which is its own task. Change clothes, give my dog her medicine, take my own, and resist the urge to play solitaire until I fall asleep. But now I have this little man. And I intend to show him to everyone.

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A former colleague of mine gave me a Seed of Happiness upon her departure from our company. She and I had been friendly and it was a very kind gesture made by someone passing through my life. For years, the little green Seed sat on my desk. A trinket, along with others, whose message I loved, but I admittedly didn't have a connection to until now.

Months back I lost my grandmother... not just my grandmother, but my first and deepest best friend. For those months it's been hard to grab onto happiness and in my desire to declutter my desk I came across this Seed.

This beautiful green Seed of Happiness.
The color of grass that forever grows.
The color of clovers of so many people find luck in.
The color of a whole city built of wonder and dreams where even Dorothy knew she could find her way back home through.
My grandmother's favorite color.
A color that brought her a simple, yet great happiness.
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A beautiful little green Seed reminding me of my beautiful grandmother.


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Back in 2020 my mom passed away. I did not even get to say goodbye to her due to Covid restrictions. Broke my heart to know she died alone.  One of our social workers gave me a special seed to help me heal from my loss. To this day I have my seed on my desk with its little smile to remind me that my mom is watching over me a sending me a smile from heaven.

- Becky

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