Get Joey's free weekly beBetter Leadership blog:

beBetter Blog

Happy Completed Her Dash, Great Time To Think About Ours

By Joey Havens

Share this post:

Sadly, CeCe lost her mom, Ruth (Happy) Cole, 84, on August 7th. You may have met Happy in some of our past stories, as she was quite the personality. Her nickname, Happy, is one that was well-earned and deserved. Happy lived her life, her dash (our time in this life — our legacy and how we impact others’ lives) in such a way that she was loved and known for two legacy attributes that might make all of us envious and reassess how we are living our lives.

Happy was known for her smile. It was almost as if she was born with a smile because she always smiled regardless of the situation. Have a candid discussion with Happy and you won’t get mad at her because she constantly smiled at you.

Even in her last days and hours as she suffered from brain damage caused by a blood clot and struggled to communicate with us, she continued to smile. A smile can change people’s lives. And sometimes that is just what someone needs. As we reflect on the dash we are leaving, are we sprinkling in enough smiles to improve the world?

Maybe it was her smile, but Happy had the innate ability to make fast friends with nearly everyone. She hated to be alone and perhaps that drove her skills. I use the term skills because we can all learn to improve. She had a massive curiosity about people and their stories, so she would engage in questions and conversations that put people at ease.

When she moved into St Catherine’s retirement home about six years ago, she knew no one. One year in, nearly everyone in the community knew Happy. So many residents reflected on how much she would be missed because she changed the community as a whole. She connected people, brought a spirit of fun, and, yes, smiled at everyone. Happy made her friends a priority. As we live each day, are we prioritizing family and friends as we should?

Today, we take comfort in knowing that Happy is smiling down at us from heaven. Today is also the day we can each make our dash more significant as we connect with others and smile! God bless.

Leading with Significance has officially hit the retail market and is now available at these online locations: 

For more information on my presentations or to access my beBetter blog library go to

Just a Second

The Hierarchy of Trust