Ever notice someone with deep “frown” lines? Perhaps a stranger, a family member or even yourself. I used to assume those lines belonged to very angry individuals or those who never smile. Until the day I noticed my own. At first I did not pay much mind thinking maybe I slept weird on my face leaving a slight vertical line next to my eyebrow. Perhaps it was a scar I never noticed. However, a few months went by and it was still there. Even showing up in pictures. I know I get angry, frown, and cry from time to time but why was this line seemingly here to stay? Don’t I smile and laugh more often than I frown? I never thought I would be grouped with those angry people with frow brow. It was Monday night and I was watching the latest Biggest Loser episode where the participants were telling their stories that were very emotional. That’s when I saw it. While telling their stories, their brows squeezed together, causing those frown lines I always associated with anger. But that’s when I realized- those lines don’t just come from frowning, worry or anger; they also show up when we cry and when we are sad. My own frown line was starting to making sense.
After learning my Mom, a breast cancer survivor first diagnosed in 2009, had stage 4 breast cancer in October 2014 while I was living far from home in France, my already shaky foundation began to quickly crumble. The hourglass had been flipped upside down and the sand was flooding downward; the timer had begun. My Mom was going to die. While finishing up my lease and job in France in preparation of moving back to New Jersey to live with her, not a day went by I didn’t think about what losing my Mom meant to me and losing her life meant to her. It was nearly a year before my creative, free-spirited, silly and loving Mom got her wings and left this world at the very young age of 51. That entire year of tears, anger, hopelessness, helplessness, deep sorrow and depression contributed to this frown line newly decorating my face. The months following her earthly exit in September 2015 lead to even deeper sorrow, darker depression and a scarcity of smiles. Slowly, I am starting to see a little light in my life and a little bit of hope. This pain of losing my Mom, the woman who brought me into this world, will never go away. It may dull some or become less present but never go away.
Next time you see someone with “frown” lines, imagine how much sorrow and hurt that person must have gone through to develop those lines. Instead of seeing them as an angry person, realize that tears and pain also cause those very same lines. Don’t turn away or judge these people; send them tremendous amounts of love, warmth and prayers that they will experience more smiles than tears in the years to come. Wish for them or yourself that smile lines will replace or soften those frown lines. Let’s think of those lines as the scars of a Life warrior. Life Lines to prove that this person has suffered greatly but is still here, still trying to find the light and living to discover another day.