Blog Archive

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Smith Family, Cancer Warriors, Memories, and Old Photos

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.

- Jane Howard

We've had a bit of a shock the last couple days in the Smith family. If you read the Cancer Warriors blog which is linked to the side, you'll know what I mean.

My family has come together via technology during this time. We do this since we're spread out in different locations. Being far away from each other doesn't stop us.

Not only have Ross and Janie been bravely and beautifully cataloging Ross's cancer and giving us updates, the rest of the Smith/Werner families have been doing other things to communicate. If you could only read the many comments in text message, the Smith Family email, and even on good old Facebook. I wish everyone were lucky, nay, blessed enough to have a family like mine.

The Smith family has had to face hard times before. Grandma and Grandpa Smith are no longer with us, neither is our Uncle Roger. We've lost our Uncle Don too.

I have a single memory of my Grandpa Smith's funeral that I'd like to share with you:

I am singing with my cousins, standing up on a stage (one that can be found in most LDS cultural halls.) My Aunt Wanda is leading me in singing "Families Can Be Together Forever." I am singing it out, as loudly as my four-year-old lungs will go. I'm getting this happy, warm feeling. I'm having a moment of enlightenment: Families really can be together forever.

I've been thinking a lot about my family lately. Me and Shelby have put together some old photos that have needed to be scanned for a while now. I thought I'd share some of them with you, along with some memories, or if I wasn't born yet, speculations I have of them.

Here are the Smith siblings during the 70's. There's no need to question whether this is the 70's, look at the hair and bell-bottoms!
My Dad is wearing plaid ones. Also, a giant bow-tie.

This picture is one of those that's too good not to share. Aunt Barbara, Aunt Becky, and my dad are shown here:
Why? I don't know. All I know is it makes me laugh really hard.

I first remember meeting the Werner cousins in Kanab, Utah at our family reunion. I can remember jumping on a trampoline in my Jasmine nightgown. (Thankfully, you shall be spared a picture of this. It's funny the weird things we remember though, eh?) I remember all the Werners were there, including Ross and Wayne. I can remember running and playing tag with them. This was probably my first time ever playing night games.

Here is an old picture from that Kanab reunion. This is when the band of girl cousins first got together. (Why is Becca not here? I don't know. Maybe we can photoshop her in somehow.)

Me, Cali, Christy, and Holly

Me and Christy and Becca wrote letters to each other after the reunion. Those two sent me pictures of themselves and their siblings. Here's Timmy:

Here's Christy:
Oh how I wish I could find the other siblings' pictures. Also, I'm sorry for the bend in Timmy's picture. I'm sure there's a way to digitally fix it, so at least it's been scanned!

Christy and Becca lived in Arkansas. They were far away, but the other girl cousins still had some good times together. At cousin Barbara Jean's wedding, there were three rosy-cheeked flower girls who were just happy to be together

Little Manda was there too, looking at a ladybug

Here is Mom holding chubby Baby Shayna. Uncle Don is next to her, borrowing her hair. Holly is here too, being held by Jeff, her daddy

Later on, the girl cousins, including Christy and Becca, got together again for Grandma Smith's funeral. You cannot begin to understand the fun we had. It might sound strange that a funeral could have made us so happy, but just the fact that it brought the girl cousins together again made us joyful. We all camped out on Aunt Wanda's floor late into the night and laughed so hard, we cried. Cali laughed so long and so hard, she could not be stopped. I think she may have broken some kind of record with her laugh. It lasted a good hour.

At a family reunion, the girl cousins made a club. We put the first letters of our names together to form a club name. I do not know what the club name was, only that it existed.

The Smith family has lots of fun at reunions. We hold dances

The girl cousins had a blast at the dances
We learned new dances from our older, wiser girl cousin (or sister in Holly's case.)

Shay and Cali

Holly and Kait

Shelby and Becca (I know it's sideways, but it looks cooler this way.)

Our dances even had DJs

The older boy cousins were always mine and my sisters' heroes.

Nick, David, Paul, Cali holding Shelby, Shayna, Manda, and Kait

Paul, Uncle Blair, David, Nick, and Alan

I can't figure out why we got together on this Sunday, but we did:
David, Ross, Manda, DJ, and Shay

We had no older brothers, so getting teased by older boys cousins was the best!

Ross, Dad holding Shelby, Aunt Wanda, Manda, Shayna, and Kait

You can tell a lot from pictures. They help you to remember things too.

There are many precious ways to remember our families. Besides journals and scrapbooks, there can also be quote books. We're lucky enough to have a quote book from one of our family members who isn't with us anymore.

Uncle Don typed up many of his favorite quotes and compiled them in a binder. My mom, the journalist and resident philosopher, keeps them in her night stand. I'll leave you with one of Uncle Don's quotes, well, actually a poem he chose to record. Oh, and a link to one of my favorite Irish songs to go with it.

Love is the river of life in this world. Think not that ye know it who stand at the little tinklyrill, the first small fountain.

Not until you have gone through the rocky gorges, and not lost the stream; not until you have gone through the meadow, and the stream has widened and deepened until fleets could ride on its bosom; not until beyond the meadow you have come to the unfathomable ocean, and poured your treasures into its depths-- not until then can you know what love is.

- Henry Ward Beecher

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