"61 SMILES"

Attitude is Everything


“61 SMILES” was created to honor a man who knew the POWER OF A SMILE.

Howard Rider smiled a lot. His smile demonstrated that a positive attitude is contagious.  He knew a smile had the power to improve the outcome of life’s events and make a difference to those around him. As 2011 began, without warning, cancer took away Howard’s face muscles' ability to fully smile. What cancer never took from him was his love of life and his amazing spirit. Throughout his courageous twenty one months of doctor visits, radiation, and chemotherapy, even during the hardest times, the first and often only thing my husband asked of his doctors…I want my smile back”.  

After Howard passed into God’s hands, I found this entry in his journal…

“I miss my smile!  I believe your eyes and your smile express your life, love, and inner being. Sometimes I feel only half my being is showing. Thank GOD I have the half smile to see all the love in the world and around me. The smile is inside me and will always find a way to come out.

Howard D. Rider, Jr. 1951 – 2012    (61 years of Smiles)
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Note:  His smile did return once for a brief time... our oldest son, was on an overseas deployment but received emergency leave to see his father. Our grandchildren also flew in and when they got off the plane, they were greeted by hugs from their Daddy and their Grandpa’s BIG SMILE!  None of his doctors could ever explain how, but Howard’s full smile came back and remained for the next two weeks. We were given the gift of TIME together, with Howard smiling all along the way.   

If you can smile, SMILE!


The 61 Smiles Project supports SMILES and works with those in the medical community who have the responsibility and privilege of patient care.  Cathy Rider (Managing Consultant, CJ Associates) shares… “Customer Service Thru the Eyes of a Patient”,  a pro bono presentation that shares her family’s story and the impact medical personnel’s (from providers to front desk to hospice) actions had on patient care and quality of life. If you would like to receive  information on this presentation - or are looking to support and generate more SMILES, contact Cathy, Mrs. H. D.