Please donate here to support this vital work.
Subscribe here to our free email list


The SHMILY Story: Nurturing Love to the End

"Trembling with my own sorrow, I will never forget that magical moment. For I knew then that, although I couldn't begin to fathom the depth of their love, I had been incredibly privileged to witness its unmatched beauty."

SHMILY: I love you.

Hey beautiful friends,

The below story of true love nurtured over many years is a beautiful reminder to all of us of what a difference it makes when we remember to cherish our love in playful and meaningful ways. Enjoy the inspiration and spread the word!

With sacred love and warmest wishes,
Fred Burks for the inspiring and educational PEERS websites

The SHMILY Story

By Laura Hammond

Married for over half a century, my grandparents played their own special game from the time they met each other. The game was to secretly write the word "SHMILY" in a surprise place for the other to later find. They took turns leaving "SHMILY" in unexpected places around the house. As soon it was discovered by one of them, it was then their turn to hide it once more.

They traced "SHMILY" with their fingers through the sugar and flour containers to await whoever was preparing the next meal. They painted it in the dew on the windows overlooking the patio where my grandma always fed us warm, homemade pudding. "SHMILY" was imprinted in the steam left on the mirror after a hot shower, where it would magically reappear bath after bath. At one point, my grandmother even unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper to leave "SHMILY" on the very last sheet.

There was no end to the unusual places "SHMILY" would pop up. Little notes with "SHMILY" scribbled hurriedly were found on dashboards and car seats, or taped to steering wheels. The notes were stuffed inside shoes and left under pillows. "SHMILY" was written in the dust upon the mantel and traced in the ashes of the fireplace.

This mysterious word was as much a part of my grandparents' house as the furniture. It took me a long time before I was able to fully appreciate their game. Skepticism had kept me from believing in true love – one that is pure and enduring. However, I never doubted my grandparents' relationship. They had love down pat. It was more than their flirtatious little games; it was a way of life.

The relationship of my grandparents was based on a devotion and passionate affection which very few are lucky enough to experience. Grandma and Grandpa held hands every chance they could. They stole kisses as they bumped into each other in their tiny kitchen. They finished each other's sentences and shared the daily crossword puzzle and word jumble. My grandma whispered to me about how cute my grandpa was, how handsome an old man he had grown to be. She claimed that she really "knew how to pick 'em." And before every meal, they bowed heads to give thanks and marvel at their blessings: a wonderful family, good fortune, and each other.

But a dark cloud eventually crept into my grandparents' life: my grandmother got breast cancer. The disease had first appeared 10 years earlier. As always, Grandpa was with her every step of the way. He comforted her in their yellow room, which he painted that color so she could always be surrounded by sunshine. He stayed with her when she was too sick to go outside. He was thrilled to rejoice with her when the cancer was later declared in remission.

Now the cancer was once again attacking her body. With the help of a sturdy cane and my grandfather's steady hand, they still went to church faithfully every Sunday morning. But my grandmother grew steadily weaker until, finally, she could not leave the house anymore. For a while, Grandpa would go to church alone, praying to God to watch over his wife.

Then one day, what we all dreaded finally happened. Grandma was gone.


It was scrawled in yellow on the pink ribbons of my grandmother's funeral bouquet.

As the crowd thinned and the last mourners turned to leave, my aunts, uncles, cousins, and other family members came forward and gathered around Grandma one last time. Grandpa stepped up to my grandmother's casket and, taking a shaky breath, he began to sing to her. Through his tears and grief, the song came, a deep and throaty lullaby of endless love and gratitude.

Trembling with my own sorrow, I will never forget that magical moment. For I knew then that, although I couldn't begin to fathom the depth of their love, I had been incredibly privileged to witness its unmatched beauty. And I will always carry with me the secret code word which playfully graced all of their many years together. S-H-M-I-L-Y: See How Much I Love You.

Note: See the SHMILY website from which this story is taken and consider getting some SHMILY coins to play with together with those you love.

Don't miss our treasure trove of inspiring resources.

Kindly support this work of love: Donate here.

Bookmark and Share

For more inspiration:
  • See our awesome collection of inspiring resources in our Inspiration Center.
  • Watch some of the most inspiring short video clips on the Internet.
  • Read concise summaries of highly inspiring major media reports.
  • Explore free, dynamic online courses which powerfully expand your horizons.
  • Share the inspiration with your friends and bookmark this page on key social networking websites using the "Share" icon on this page.
Explore the mind and heart expanding websites managed by the nonprofit PEERS network: - PEERS websites: Spreading inspiration, education, & empowerment - Every person in the world has a heart - Dynamic online courses powerfully expand your horizons - Reliable, verifiable information on major cover-ups - Strengthening the Web of Love that interconnects us all

Subscribe to the PEERS email list of inspiration and education (one email per week). Or subscribe to the list of news and research on deep politics (one email every few days).

Kindly donate here to support this inspiring work of love.

Subscribe to one of our free email lists of inspiration and education.

The Web of Love is a PEERS empowerment website

"Dedicated to the greatest good of all who share our beautiful world"