I can still smell the leaves and hear them crunch under my feet. I can see hear my Daddy's voice as I hand him my then little baby daughter. I can even recall the smell of his cologne. I remember how Biking Sherpa was not in the best of moods that day and how all the grandkids were much too energetic for a family photo shot. All these memories bring a smile to my face today. For you it is just September 25th.
For me today is 8 years since I heard my Daddy speak. It was the last day I had the chance to see him or hold his hand. I didn't know then how precious that was. My Daddy was not a super hero. He wasn't perfect, I'm sure. But he was the kind of dad, the kind of person that is rare to come across. I hit the jackpot and had him as my dad. He taught me lessons that I am still learning today. But he also left behind my mother. A woman who stood beside him day in and day out. I all too often forget that while my Daddy isn't here to turn to, she is. She is full of all those things that my Daddy was. While I will allow tears today as I think of things that I wish my Daddy was here to share in, it will only be for today. There are so many people in my life that share those same memories and those who I need to teach those memories to.
My Daddy helped make us all strong and family-focused, maybe that was part of why he was given to us. To help us be better prepared to continue on when he had to leave us. Today I will do everything I can to show him that he did a great job. And this Saturday when I am climbing that mountain in Pennsylvania, when my legs are screaming that I just can't go any farther, that is when I will reach down into that Smith strength that Daddy took me to store up and I will find a way to keep going. I will make him proud because I know he will be with me.