This came in as a comment to my blog “Thank You Zig” from Dan Smith. Dan talks about his dad in a beautiful and touching way. My hope and prayer for you is that you will reach out to those you love so like Dan you will be able to say “I am glad I did” instead of “I wish I had.”
You can contact Dan on twitter @flashbite
In this world, sadly there is a shortage of heroes. These are the real men and women who will stand up for the important things as if all the world or their family depended on it.
This week the world is one more hero short.
Our Daddy, Kenneth Earl Smith left the chains of mortality and was welcomed in to the joy of the Kingdom by Jesus Himself.
He fought many battles in his life here.
He fought hardship during childhood , growing up in the Great Depression.
He fought the separation of family- not knowing where many of his family even were until decades later in life.
He fought Foreign Enemies who wanted to take away the American Way of life.
At the beginning of WW2, He was wounded at Schofield Barracks(Pearl Harbor)Hawaii after joining the Army under age.
He rejoined when he was able to do so again. He fought again only to be wounded by artillery shells and sent home.
Despite a long and painful recovery for which most men would have given up or given over to just be a ward of a disability income; he would not quit.
He loved our mother and the six sons they brought into the world. He sometimes worked 3 jobs just to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads.
When we were younger and other kids had all the advantages- new clothes, new cars, new toys, and new houses-It was hard to see what a hero really was.
But he pressed on. By all standards the government uses, we were poor.
As I like to say we were so poor we could only afford one O to spell it. But never the less, he pressed on.
Later in life after we passed the phase of being teenagers and started having families of our own, He suddenly seemed to grow so much wiser and knew things we could only imagine.
We grew accustomed to our new enlightened dad and quite frankly took him for granted.
Years went by, he grew older but never really seemed to age that much. He hit age milestones of 65. 70. 75. 80 and finally 85.
He fought the pain of sadness when our mother was taken suddenly before him.
Most of his friends and family were gone, but those who remained were even more a treasure to him we watched him as he showed us the value of what really matters in this world is how much you are loved.
This past November, when he was unable to stand up and after he went to the hospital, and a barrage of endless testings and concurring, we and he were given the bad news.
We had all had our private reconciliations with dad telling him what we wished we had done better and how we wished had been better sons- letting him express his own regrets and each of finding our own separate peace. We had no idea what to expect except just to wait and let the disease run roughshod.
After the shock hit us all, we prepared for the inevitable.
Surprisingly the inevitable, this bastard called cancer was going to have a fight on his hands.
During the next five months we got to know our dad in such a special way and that can only be called joyful.
We got to know each other and see the wonderful cord that love is when a family loves each other and joins together in a united way.
It was at times frustrating and angry and other times hilariously funny.
Old wounds from years past suddenly did not seem to matter as the time with our dad covered and healed every hurt. We constantly told stories from our growing up that are still so funny even after thousands of tellings and retelling, I find it funny still ever one of us has a different version of the same story // one brother correcting the very one whom it happened to.
Dad was, whether he liked it or not the star of many of our stories and the victim of many of our escapades. (my baby brother for example sold dad his own car’s wheel cover taken from another wheel after he reported losing one on the other side of the car.)
He did not have the touch of mother but the power of a father to bring us all together and teach us what was important.
For five short months(we say short because we knew he would be gone soon enough) he fought this bastard.
He fought him on his own turf.
What would have reduced many men to a sobbing pile of pity only briefly during his struggle did so.
We saw him constantly brave when we were in attendance. We were fortunate to be at his beck and call, this was more a pleasure than an obligation
Three days before his death,.the bastard finally sucker punched him and did the best to knock out all lines of communication- but could not stop the love we knew he had for us and the love we had for him.
We saw many responses to know he was with us even to the end.
Dad taught us many things, supreme above all, that God loves everyone of us and life with out God is empty and leads to eternal death. But that the love of God, when we are unable to save ourselves leads to the everlasting presence of God and gives meaning to the temporary world we live in now,
The last five months have taught us more about what character is, what love is, what selfless acts of kindness are than simply living an ordinary span of breathing could ever do.
We know who our dad is and was.
He, with the Grace of God, was and is a Hero.
Leave Dan a message on twitter @flashbite