Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August 29, 2012 - Special Post for Dad's Birthday

I'm not following protocol this time...but this is a special day for the Smith family.  Harold Alton Smith, our dad and our children's paternal grandfather would have been 84 today.  Many times I've said, "If I could just chat with Dad, what would I want to tell him first?  Where would I start?"  Let's see...

Dear Dad...Happy 84th Birthday!  Here's some updates....

The family's have son in laws, grands and great grands to meet and we're all a little older.  Can you imagine your oldest is 61?  And your youngest just settled a daughter at college for her first semester?  Your grandchildren and great grandchildren now range in age from 39 (Shawn's pushing 40!) to 23 months.  Peyton Lee Semp will be 2 September 21.

The world is smaller.  Technology has closed the gaps and puts us in touch with all reaches of the world.  Thank goodness for Skype with the Semps in Michigan, Virginia and Florida, not to mention using it with Bjarne and Ingrid in Denmark and with Kelsey at college...and sometimes with Pam and Jan just because its neat to feel connected when we don't live as close as we like.  I know you would love it, Dad.  The text messaging and cell phones (except in an emergency!) probably wouldn't interest you, or the laptops, iphones or smartphones that we carry on a day to day basis...pinging, twerping and tweeting.  Can you believe we have had to spend precious legislative time to control citizens texting and driving?  And Facebook, Twitter...well, let's not go there.  You would love Pinterest though...endless ideas to inspire you!

I hope you wouldn't be discouraged about the state of small town America and the struggles that downtowns face.  Retail isn't anything like it used to be and I'm not sure what we have now is a positive result.  For you to see me working with a computer/s constantly, basing two ecommerce businesses from a store that once saw hundreds of visitors in a single weekend, and yet figure out how to keep things moving forward...I think you'd be intrigued and asking a bunch of questions!

 Dad, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of you.  So many times its a funny incident that I know you'd enjoy...sometimes to the point of laughing til you cried.  Laughing til your face turned red and the hankerchief would come out of your pocket and the glasses would come off for a good mopping up.  I enjoy the light moments so much that I've started to document them for a book that I always said I wanted to write.  It has a title..."All My Stupid Stuff" and I've learned how wonderful it is to be able to enjoy the silliness of life and to be able to laugh at ones self.  You were so good at that!

And Dad, what's really on top of my list to tell you is about our family...that we continue to stay connected, close and involved.  That we take turns being supportive and being supported.  We do a pretty good job...and when we fall off the wagon, there's someone right there to extend a hand, yank us back up and keep going.  It isn't just about the fun times at Sand Lake, the holiday gatherings or the celebratory milestones we reach.  Its a day to day we all get to travel.  We are blessed to have our family to journey with.  Thank you for the role model you provided!  It's great to hear my children quote a "Grandpa Smith-ism" or retell a Grandpa's priceless.

We think of you with birthday wishes, the traditional Smith birthday song...if heaven could stand it...and know that God has blessed you with life eternal for countless birthdays.  Enjoy this day and infinitely more.  Sing Leah, sing!

The last photo of Dad, taken Aug. 28, 1996...the day before his 68th birthday and two days before his passing to eternal life.


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  2. Great post, Pam...brought tears to my eyes for the "upteenth" time today! Love, Jan