And this one time… right now (this will make the most sense to Desiree Smedley), my best friend was sad, and I didn’t know the right words to say to make her feel better, so I just sat down and started typing in order to let her know I care and wish I could take away the pain of the loss of her father.
Last Friday, John H. Smedley, Sr., Warren County’s Commissioner of Revenue and my best friend’s father, passed away due to complications after heart surgery. Just a few days before that, the man had driven himself to the hospital, so this was all quite a shock for everyone. Since he was the father of my best friend, I saw him quite a bit from my senior year in high school until I moved away three years later (and then every time I came to visit). He was the kind of guy who would tease his daughter’s friends and crack jokes. He had a great sense of humor and didn’t mind embarrassing himself for a good cause. He loved his family, and I’m sad to say one of the grandchildren he left behind was Desiree’s little one, Chase. They had quite a bond.
What do you say to someone who just lost her father, something you can’t personally understand and hope you never have to? How do you find the right words for a dear friend who says she doesn’t even think it’s really hit her yet that he’s gone? How do you comfort someone when you are hundreds of miles away? I literally cried on her shoulder many times over what I now realize were trivial teenage problems (of course, each time was a crisis to a seventeen-year-old who had never really experienced tragedy), but I can’t be there to let her cry on my shoulder now, and I feel so helpless because of it. For a person who usually considers herself to be a wordsmith, I can’t seem to find the right ones to put together this time.
I’m going to post some pictures in tribute to a man who was dearly loved and will be missed by many (got them from Desiree’s Facebook).
But in all seriousness, John H. Smedley, Sr. was a well loved and respected man.
Desiree, for all those times we sang this at the top of our lungs while riding around in Barney and D Puppy, here’s Offspring’s “Gone Away” for you. And because I truly am Randomgirl, I added Fireflight’s “Name,” which will make you cry, so please have tissues handy.
I’ve been trying to come up with something special to do for you all week. This is what I came up with, and I hope you like it and that you realize I put it together with love for you and your dad. Consider this my big hug to you.