Ollie Horne’s I Simply, Smile


Ollie’s email informing me that Nancy, a Peruvian friend of my daughter’s, who I had never met, would arrive late. A kind gesture from a Delta flight attendant for a weary traveler who did not have a USA cell phone.

My response to Ollie

And the rest of the story…

Ollie responded to my email. He said the Wharton quote really hit home with him.  He shared I Simply, Smile, a poem he wrote in February 2012 on his first night in the hospital after he was diagnosed with stage IV brain cancer. He had three brain surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy and was pronounced in remission. His adopted life motto is: Watch me live! (Don’t watch for me to die..watch how I live, abundantly!)


I Simply, Smile

Barren of leaves, 
This windblown tree. 
Withstanding Winter’s toll, 
Firmly planted in the security, 
Of this gentle river flow. 
Let your violence buffet, howl. 
And bring your bitter snow. 
You’ll succeed to only dig in my roots, 
To fertile soil below. 
Your deepest threat, 
Your fear…dark and grave, 
Your empty, hollow chide, 
Evokes a smile, in my resolve… 
Exposing this passion that resides. 
Your power to take, Is taken away. 
Your plan revealed futile, 
For as you scheme to strip away, 
Fruit finds production… 
And mocks you… 
All the while. 
So bring your winters’ harshest, 
Though I tremble, 
Though I quake, 
And this fullness of life, 
This exuberant dance… 
Is found here in your wake. 
Full beyond containment… 
I simply, smile.

Ollie thanked me for the encouragement. He said, “No matter what, I will reflect light!”  You see, on Tuesday Ollie started chemotherapy again. Another tumor has formed. He wrote, “My purpose in life is to show love to everyone and to encourage everyone to live a full life. I believe we can change the world by showing love to the world…that’s my ‘crazy idea.'”


I’m crazy about Ollie’s crazy idea idea of showing love to everyone.


Please join me in sending some healing love Ollie’s way.  I, like Ollie, simply smile. I have been touched and am filled with gratitude. Thank you Ollie for sharing your poem, light and love.