Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August 29, 2012 - Happy Birthday, Dad

Would have been my Dad's 84th birthday, today.  And tomorrow, it is 16 years ago that he can that really be? It is so amazing.  What I wouldn't give to sit down with him have a cup of coffee...Ok so mine would be tea and his would be coffee.  I can't help but wonder what his thoughts would be about our world today.  He was not into computers at all... NOT at all! Its funny that they have been such a huge part of my life.. In the early years when I just started in the computer industry  when I would try to talk to him about it, you could see the change in his eyes...They glassed over and he just didn't want to hear about it.

Makes me laugh when I think  about the fact that I regularly emailing his friends, Clare Tincknell and Jake Jacobsen. (OK Jake, I owe you an email today!)  I wonder what he would think about Facebook and how it has enabled us to get reacquainted with old friends who we love but have been separated from for so many years.  There are no real reason why except an individual life evolves...time gets away from you and life goes on....

I wonder what he would think of cell phone phones!!!!  Texting, oh my!  As we, my brothers and sisters, gathered together for our annual camping trip this summer, we played this little game....It's called "Where are you now?"  Since we are all coming from different directions, it helps to pass the time..."Have you left yet?  I send to Matt..."Not Yet he responds!"  "Where are you?"   He asks..."New Buffalo" I respond... A little later I hear from Sharon and Michael who are on the road too.."Just got thru Saginaw"  Sharon tells me....She and I begin to compare notes and it looks like we may both get to Sand Lake at about the same time until they find an furniture store in Marion, Michigan and the motorhome they are driving suddenly needs to stop!  The texting does not...just the Motorhome....Before long the Motor home has a couple of new tables and their checkbook has a few less dollars ...but ..." They alway wanted to stop at that store every time they drove by"  so they finally did! I can't help but wonder what Dad would think of all of this.

The Internet...was in it's infancy stage when he died...Internet commerce, Ebay, Auctions, Craigs list,  Amazon and the need for most brick and mortar store to have a eCommerce solution was unheard of.  Forward thinking people dreamed of these realities but they were still dreams!  I would love to talk to him about how "doing business has changed"  the good and the bad...and the ugly!

The Internet ...and the data revolution that it has become...from shortly after Dad died...the Christmas after, as a matter of fact...I have been doing family history research.  Which is the reason for this blog.  I ordered a software package for my future husband, because he was working on his family tree  and entering data manually into a DOS program...and it seemed to me that there had to be a better way...So I bought  Family Tree Maker.  It was a Windows based application and he could import his data!  I was so excited for him.  After Christmas, he asked me if I would install if for him..."since you are the expert..."  So I did...The day I installed this program, my life changed.  I decided to create my tree too.  I would add  just the family members that I knew.....4562 people and 1457 marriages later...I am still adding people that I know!

I would love to introduce them to my Dad!  Their are many farmers, preachers, soldiers, doctors, builders, cabinet makers, inn keepers, railway workers, blacksmith and businessmen, just like him.  Men who dreamed of better days ahead for themselves and there families.  They moved west, north, south and sometimes even back east all in an effort  to find the best place to raise a family..

I just know that once I told him about how our family started the church in Nine Mile Indiana, he would want to go visit and attend services there.  I just know that when I showed him that James Smith's Stone is all fixed and back in place in the Nine Mile cemetery, that he would be just as excited as I am!  I just know that when I told him that the "Smith Farm" is still a working farm in Pendleton, Indiana, he would want to go there for a visit with me...

I just know that I miss you very much Dad, very day but especially today... and I would give anything to be sitting across the table from you having that cup of tea! 

So on your birthday..... I am singing the electronic version of your award winning birthday song which we sing at every birthday "offkey" in your honor. And just so you know your cousins sing it too!

hAPpy BIRthDay 2 U, HaPPy bIRthDay to YoU, HaPPy bIRthday, Dear DAD
HapPy BirthDAY  to you! 

Love,  Jan


  1. Beautifully written about a beautiful human being!

  2. Thank you aunt Janet for sending me this link. It gave me an opportunity to stop what I was doing for a few minutes here at work, read the blog, and realize how 'simple' life used to be. The simplicity of life was created by mainly two (2) things back then; one being (the lack of) technology, and the second being my age.

    I was lucky enough to spend lots of time with Grandpa Smith and will never forget the times that we shared together. I would give anything to sit with him again and drink hot chocolate as he drank his coffee (like we did 25 yrs or so ago).

    Yes, the technology and our lives have changed, but the love for my grandfather will always be the same.

    Happy Birthday Grandpa!!



  3. Thanks for the memories, Jan...and yes, today, tomorrow, this whole holiday weekend is a bit bittersweet. Sweet memories, lots of laughs and a lump in my throat because I miss him, too. I am still surrounded by "stuff" that was him and his life, but there is that void. Try as I might, it doesn't fill. Life goes on, in totally different directions and the journey continues. Somehow, I think he would be totally encouraging, while amazed at the challenges we face, to keep keeping on. And most of all, to hang tough together...for each other. And we do. For that he is most thankful and at peace! SO...happy birthday Dad...#84. It seems like yesterday in some ways, and like an eternity in others. But we know you will enjoy it with Mom...see if you can get her to sing the Smith version! Love you....pam

  4. Wonderful Jan...thank you so much!!! I really really enjoyed the blog did such a good job with it. As I worked today...every time I wrote the date....over and over and over again..I would say out loud "Happy Birthday Dad, we love and miss you so very much!"

  5. Happy Birthday Grandpa! -- Derek (tallbird)


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