Above link is a poem I came across that seemed to fit in my Dad's life. My Dad had a bible, that was so worn the pages would tear easily, but he would'nt give it up for anything. It was given to him by my mother Emma Marie Williams Smith, who passed away August 27, 1970 of cervical cancer. He treasured that bible always. Even though he was'nt at most times a religious man, he still kept that bible safe. Inside the bible he kept a picture of my mother, a very old picture of the two of them on their wedding day. My Dad suffered 3 heart attacks and a nervous breakdown. Raising 6 children alone was hard on him. I helped all I could with the cooking, cleaning and taking care of my siblings. I actually gave up my childhood to do so. I did'nt mind it, I know my Dad was proud of me for doing so. He always said I was his right arm, and he could'nt of went on with being a single parent if I were'nt there to help. There was even a short period of time when I took my younger brother Paul to school in a large picnic basket, just so I would'nt miss school. A month after my mother gave birth to him, she went into the hospital due to her cancer. She found out she had the cancer during her pregnancy and would'nt have the pregnancy terminated to get treatment. By doing that, the cancer worsened and treatments did not work. I would take my brother to school, and after the teacher passed out our assignments, she would care for my baby brother while I did my schoolwork. Alcoholism took over my Dad. As children we moved from one house to another, one town after another. But he always kept us together, no matter what. I remember there was a summer when we lived in a family friends yard in a makeshift tent for over a month, until my Dad found us a place to live. He was told by friends and family it was too much of a strain on his health and heart to be taking care of 6 children alone. That he should consider putting us in foster homes. He would not accept that idea, no matter how bad things were or how bad his health was, he never gave up on raising his kids. He worked hard at whatever job he had at the time, to provide for us.Alot of meals we had were bologna sandwiches or some kind of soup. Dinner always consisted of some wild game he had killed during hunting seasons. To this day I now refuse to eat deer, squirrel, rabbitor any wild bird, lol. I always tell people who try to give me that now, that if it ain't got a store label, I ain't eatting it, lol. We grew our own vegetables, and at a young age I learned how to can those vegetables. Dad and I would spend weeks canning, so we'd have enough food to last over the winter month's. My childhood was rough, but no matter how rough it was I was greatful to my Dad. He taught me to accept whatever life threw at me, to respect people and most of all to be a good person. Family to me now, means more to me then anything. I cherrish my family, and I would do anything for them, and stand by them in whatever decisions they make in life. So, to that I say, Thanks Dad!!! He made me the person I am today.
In memory of my Dad:
Norman Carl Smith May 25, 1937 to September 4, 2005