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.


  1. sue gustafson
    Sep 20, 2013

    All I can do is smile, and say WOW!
    Thanks for sharing this Julie and send my prayers and blessings to Ollie.
    Enjoy your visit with Nancy 🙂

    • Julie
      Sep 20, 2013

      Thank you faithful reader and thanks for your prayers and blessings for Ollie.

  2. Kellie Day
    Apr 9, 2014

    Hello, I found your blog by accident, while looking for something very specific regarding Ollie Horne.
    Your blog posts reflects Ollie’s life principle perfectly, it’s how he really lived…..I know, because I know Ollie personally.
    I thought that you would want to know that Ollie left our earthly home yesterday morning, to be with the One who was the source of his light. That was why I was searching Ollie’s name….I was looking for his obituary. I am happy to have stumbled upon your post & I plan to share it with his family & friends. Thank you!
    Ollie will be deeply missed by his family, all of those who call him friend and even by those who were touched by his incredible LIFE.

    • Julie
      Apr 9, 2014

      Dear Kellie, You and Ollie’s family and friends are in my prayers. Ollie’s light and incredible life, in the great Mystery of it All, touched many including me. Thank you for sharing this. It is a testimony that Oneness that Ollie lived by will continue to live on.

  3. Anny stanley
    Apr 9, 2014

    I was priveledge to meet Ollie at Lifepoint church in Byron ga. I lead music there and he would love to get up and sing with us . He had so much compassion to sing I loved it. He also inspired my daughter Madison Vinson to be a better teenager lol. He will be greatly missed but heaven has gained one heck of an angel!

    • Julie
      Apr 9, 2014

      Thank you for sharing how Ollie sang with compassion and inspired your daughter. He continues to inspire me.

  4. Miguel aviles
    Apr 9, 2014

    Very touching, I think I will bookmark this for days when he is missed the most. Much love Uncle “Paul” Ollie.

    • Julie
      Apr 10, 2014

      Dear Uncle “Paul” Ollie, My thoughts and prayer are with you. Live on in love.

  5. cecily skillern
    Apr 10, 2014

    As a Delta flight attendant, I had flown with Ollie maybe 3 times and always Lagos, Nigeria. He was very comfortable with and very at home with our passengers. I didn’t know him personally, but the minute he introduced himself to me, I knew he was a man of God. He showed pictures of his wife and family. I could tell he was very proud. I am proud and honored to have known Ollie. I wish his family peace and understanding as they continue their journey sending sweet Ollie to his Lord and Saviour.

    • Julie
      Apr 11, 2014

      I’m amazed how Ollie touched so many people’s lives even in Lagos, Nigeria. Thank you for your loving words.

  6. Brian Woodson
    Apr 11, 2014

    The moment I met Ollie I knew his spirit was pouring out of him as fast as God would pour it in. He held on loosely to blessinfs. So loosely in fact that he would rather see others blessed before him. Ollie was the walking definition of selfless.

    • Julie
      Apr 11, 2014

      Thank you Brian. I love the image of spirit pouring out and in.

  7. Tane Jones
    Apr 12, 2014

    So thkful u posted this! The poem is awesome! Paul was such an inspiration to me and my family! He would come to my Dad’s church and preach and we would sing together! He really touched our youth group! Always positive, always praising God!! Thks again for sharing! He will be so missed! Praying for sweet and beautiful family too!

    • Julie
      Apr 12, 2014

      Thank you for sharing! Your exclamation marks proclaim the good news of Paul Ollie Horne!

  8. Ellen
    Sep 29, 2014

    Powerful, blessed connections!!!

    • Julie
      Sep 30, 2014

      I agree! Nice to be connected with you Ellen.

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