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  • Melanie Mizenko

Beyond the Byline: Finding every reason to be happy


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One of my best friends celebrated an anniversary yesterday. Not a birthday or wedding, but a two-year move-a-versary to New York City.

Christopher Bohinski and I have been friends since our junior year in high school. Our love for the arts propelled that friendship. He went away to college; I stayed local, but thanks to social media and cell phones, we’ve stayed connected through the years.

Chris, Maryann and I wanted to live in New York City to pursue our dreams. They wanted to act; I wanted to write. Chris and Maryann moved there, although not to the same apartment as we once wished. Chris moved in April; Maryann moved in June so I’m not in the city with them, but there are times we act like I am. They talk about the city like I know exactly what’s going on — be it crime or the shutdown of a certain subway train.

We don’t get together as much as we’d like, but when we do it’s because he’s back home visiting in Wilkes-Barre or I’m in New York City (what a fantastic tour guide) on a day trip. Chris and I always have fun. We laugh, we take photos, we make memories.

I’ve watched and celebrated his victories — his off-off-Broadway debut, his background television acting, working at the US Open. I tell him when he makes it big, I’ll be front and center to see him. And I will. Because he’s been there for me.

He came in from New York City, bringing my favorite food — Momofuku Milk Bar’s crack pie — when my father passed away last year. I remember calling him when my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October 2014. I cried, asking him how he coped when his father died from brain cancer a few years back.

Chris sends cards, often — just the smallest ‘thinking of you’ cards, and they seem to come when needed most.

He has the best Snapchat videos; over the weekend, he made use of the integrated Snapchat filters and was singing lyrics to “The Wizard of Oz.” I couldn’t help but smile.

There are times when he’s home and we don’t have time for a lunch date, but he’ll stop by my house for five minutes while walking his dog.

Chris finds happiness in everything. I don’t ever think I’ve heard him complain and he always has a smile on his face. Living just outside New York City, the city that never sleeps, has to be rough. I can’t imagine it’s cheap; I can’t imagine his commute — mine is 10 minutes. He’s fearless, telling me he never says no to a job (whether it’s catering or acting, singing or something odd). Everyday that ends in ‘y,’ I wish I could be more like Chris.

People ask where I get my strength, especially going through chemotherapy for the second time in two years, and I say, without hesitation, from my friends (and my family). They make me smile, and continuously tell me to “never give up.”

As I sat in the infusion chair Monday getting an IV dose of magnesium because the chemotherapy pills I’m on have certain side effects — the lowering of magnesium in the body is one, I thought about the happy times with Chris and all my friends. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t have made it these past two years without them.

#Happiness #Positivity #Joy #NYCSmile4Me #ChrisBohinski #BohtheSmileGuy #SmileStory

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