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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Daddy

My Father was Robert Smith

No. Not Robert Smith of The Cure, although I did tell people that in junior high
because I found it amusing.

He may not have been a musical icon, but he was great in his own ways.

Notice all the past tense?

Well  . . .
Today I want to take a little bit of time to talk about my daddy

Robert Clayton Smith

November 4, 1958-June 8, 1996

Yes, that's right, today is the anniversary of his passing.

That's a great one of us in Minnesota when I was a new born.

I was at the tail end of my eighth grade year when he moved on.

What I want to talk about is the handful of wonderful things that he did teach me while he was here.

He taught me that obstacles can be overcome.

He suffered a stroke at age 22 which rendered him disabled on his left side.
As a South Paw this was an enormous catastrophe.
Additionally, it meant that he could never drive again,
meaning that he no longer could perform his profession as a back hoe driver.
However, eventually he moved beyond the anger and frustration
and carved himself a new niche.
He found a creative outlet in his later years.

In fact, he was AMAZING!!!

He had his own lawn care business.
He mowed and landscaped several lawns in his neighborhood,
including my grandmother's where he lived.
He also built phenomenal retaining walls in the front and back yards of my grandmother's home.

He managed to drywall the garage ceiling and install a pull down ladder in his garage.

Finally, he had a knack at wood work.
There wasn't a weekend that I visited him in my childhood that he wasn't either in the garage building something or working on a yard.

He had passion for what he could do.
He found joy in his talent.

He may not have been what he wanted to be, even as a father, but he still touched my life in vast ways.

Although he was in many ways a troubled and difficult man, especially in light of his disability, he never failed to let me know that he loved me.

He always called me his "darling."
I am often so sad that my husband never knew him, 
that my boys will only hear of their Grandpa Bob like I heard of my Grandpa Ted,
and finally that he is not here to teach me and my children all of the wonderfully creative skills that he had mastered.

In many ways I regret not taking advantage and learning about wood work when I had the chance.
Who knew this girly girl would want to build someday?

I really wanted to add more, and better photos, but I didn't have to time to scan them in.
So, these were from a previous post.

I miss you Daddy!!!
Love your Darling.


  1. AWWWW, what a beautiful post. Very well said and there is no better tribute than to remember only the good things and the value of what was taught. Through your words you've made me wish I'd known him...

  2. Aww. Jayna Rae! I am so sorry for your loss, even 10 years later. He sounds like he was a remarkable man and that he had a big impact on his remarkable (clearly remarkable!) daughter.
    Beautiful post.

  3. Lovely post! It's never too late to learning something!

  4. What a great tribute to your dad. He sounds like he was an amazing person. I'm extremely impressed that he never let his disability get in his way.


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