Remembering My Dad

A few days ago, I was at the barn with our daughter for her riding lesson. The way the light was hitting the few fall leaves still clinging to their branches took my breath away. I quickly took out my iphone and snapped a photo.

I couldn’t help but think in that moment how much my Dad would have loved to have been able to so easily snap and share a photo while waiting for me during one of my activities.

I can’t believe it’s been nine years since his passing—nine exactly—today is the anniversary of his death. Some days, it still seems like I could call him on that phone and he would answer.

Not only did I share his love of photography and nature, I also share his busyness when it came to driving us kids here and there.

As the years are going quickly, I’m cherishing drives with our children more than ever, as it’s slowly dawning on me how special everyday moments really are, even those that seem more like chores than quality time.

I remember many Saturday mornings my Dad would drive me to my violin lesson and sit outside waiting for me to finish. He always kept the car window rolled down, just in case he could catch a bit of what I was playing. He usually had a yellow legal pad and pen with him, and he’d be writing as he silently listened, pretending he wasn’t.

We shared that love of writing, just like we did his love of music. I remember my Dad sitting beside me on the floor of my bedroom the night before a high school paper was due, papers spread all around. He was helping me edit a rough draft, likely hoping I would overcome my perfectionism in time to get some sleep.

It’s these moments that stand out, not just because I would do anything to have a moment like that with him again, but also because, as one of four kids in a busy family, it wasn’t often that we had these one-on-one chances to connect. I now know how special these times were, and how much he must have cherished them as I do now with my own kids.

The one thing we didn’t share when he was still alive was his passion for writing poetry. My Dad wrote poems up until days before his death. He used to carry little index cards and a pen in the front pockets of his collared, button-front shirts, his usual attire, always ready to capture phrases and words and weave them into magic.

It was only a few months ago that writing poetry as a way of life started happening for me too, phrases coming to me when I least expect it, like those moments when I’m driving our kids to their activities, or waiting in the car as they finish up.

Sharing a Poem

As we near the holidays and navigate this pandemic that is keeping many of us farther from loved ones than we would like, I thought it was the perfect time to share with you this poem I recently wrote–I Suspect He Knew.

May we each remember how much we are all connected, even when we think we are not, and how the power of love can cross even the greatest distance.

© 2020 Laurie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photo credits: Barbara Smith.

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One Comment

  1. Ron Brandsdorfer says:

    Just fantastic, Laurie. What a wonderful story about your father. What beautiful memories. And what a great photo of you and your father — with your big, beautiful smile.