Always Loved, Never Forgotten

Two years ago, a light died in my life.   My husband, my best friend, father of 2 of my children and Dad to all of them, let go of his fight to stay with us.

We had an amazing last night together.   We talked, we laughed, we cried, I comforted him, he comforted me, we loved each other fiercely and without reservation.

For a long time I was angry.  Angry at him.  Angry at the doctors who didn’t FIX him.  Angry at the doctor who tried to make me guilt him into trying a little harder.  Angry that my kids would have to go the rest of their lives without that beautiful man guiding them.

And I was sad.

And I mourned.

And I grieved.

And I loved him fiercely and without reservation.

I still do.   I love him with all my heart.  I will love and miss him forever.

He was, in many ways, a better parent than me.  He was, in many ways, a better spouse than me.  He was in many ways, a better person than me.

He taught me to love unconditionally.  He taught me I was worth loving unconditionally.

It has been two years since that day.  Two years since he took his last breath.   I still have the printout of his last heartbeat in my wallet (sorry Patricia!  My kid took it and didn’t tell me until we got home.)  I carry him and his love with me everywhere.

Mark W. Smith.

Forever Loved,
Forever Missed,
Never Forgotten.

Mark's Urn Coloured Memorial Tattoo Mark in Fruitvale

June 25

To the powers that be who may be checking out what I’m doing using government resources – I’m just writing a short blog – nothing about work – just personal.   I’ll be off here in about 10 minutes.

To Mike, yeah I’d like to keep thinking happy thoughts, but the “at this time 2 years ago” thoughts keep coming back.  It’s friggen killing me. 

At this time 2 years ago – he said he wanted to go home.  He said he was done fighting, that he wanted to go home.  And when I asked him if he understood that that meant that he would DIE, he nodded and said he wanted to go home.

How am I supposed to ignore that fact?  How am I supposed to just pretend that today is another day?  It’s not.  

My sister-in-law told me last year that June 26 forever will just be about her husband’s birthday – that she won’t be thinking on her brother’s death – she’ll be focussed on her husband.

Fair enough.   Her husband is still alive.

For me though, this is the day when the end started.  This is the moment when my world shifted off it’s axis.   This is when I had to tell everyone that no, Mark was not going to come home.  There would be no retrofitting of the house, no renewal of our vows, no growing old together.

There was no more fighting.  He was done.

And today, at this moment 2 year ago, I looked him in the eyes, and I loved him enough to say “Ok.   I’ll make the arrangements to take you home.”   I loved him enough to let him go with love and peace and dignity and in a manner of his choosing.

I love and miss him every. single. day.


Well it WAS a Good Day

Today is the 21st.   I had a very quiet day.   End of day… having conversations about Thursday and just for a moment… I had a blank about what the day was… until I remembered.

But it was still a good day overall.

Tonight I figured I would watch a movie to fall asleep to.   Its a good movie my boyfriend says.  He neglected to mention that in the first 5 min the wife of the main character dies.

It WAS a good day….

Now to battle the emotions that have surfaced…

Sneaky Triggers…

L:  Mom, can I call my friend and ask if I can go for a sleep over there?

Me:  No it’s Father’s Day tomor…. never mind.  Go ahead.

L: Ok.

Yeah.  Father’s Day doesn’t have the same meaning anymore.  And now I get to hurt because for a moment, I forgot.

I got the downstairs kitchen cleaned in the process of trying to distract myself from the hurt.

AND found the source of the smell I’ve been trying to track down for the last few days.

Mark watching over us again, I suppose – if it wasn’t for that random trigger – I wouldn’t have cleaned up the kitchen, and I wouldn’t have found that the burner was on and melting the cooler sitting on it.   It was a fire danger… and now we’re safe.

Happy Father’s Day Mark.   We miss you.

Mark in Fruitvale

Father’s Day

I wasn’t thinking about Father’s Day in terms of what it means to me and my boys.   I was thinking about my three step-sons and how I was going to make it special for my boyfriend.

It didn’t occur to think of us… I get to spoil *someone* and be happy with his enjoyment of the day.

And then I saw this:

Father’s Day can be a grief trigger for widowed people in so many ways, here are just a few possibilities:

* You miss parenting with your partner
*Your kids miss their Dad
*You miss your kids Dad, too
*Your partner never got to be a Dad
*You have a new partner who is great with your kid/s, but they still miss their Dad
*You are a widowed Dad, and you miss celebrating this day with your love
*Maybe you also miss your own Dad, if he has died, too

However Father’s Day challenges you, remember that love never dies. Remember that Father’s Day is a reminder of the love Dad’s have for their kids…a love that can’t be erased by death. And if you are in the fortunate position of having even more love in your life this Father’s Day, know that your kid/s will find a way to do the same thing you’ve done, welcome the future, while valuing the past.Give them time and space to find their way, and the unique understanding that only you can give them. 

Every loving person who comes into our lives brings something important, and unique, with them. Embrace love, friends, in it’s many forms, because love lives on and on. 

– Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation
And I remembered… it’s the 2nd Father’s Day without my husband, without my kids’ father.   It’s the 4th Father’s Day since my Dad died.
And that…. sucks.
Seriously sucks.
There’s 4 days until Father’s Day.  I don’t have any plans for the boys and their father.   I don’t have any plans for Father’s Day at all.
Because it hurts again.
I was ok until I saw that.  I’m very good at putting  my emotions in a box and keeping them segregated from the rest of my life… most of the time.
4 days…  And I’m going to do my damnedest to make it happen for my boyfriend and his boys.
But I hurt.
January 2010 039

Almost 2 Years

I’m in the home stretch.

2 years ago we were in the midst of a miraculous recovery from lactaid levels that were “not compatible with life” that came down to a healthy level again overnight.

I wish I’d known it was the beginning of the end.

I wish I’d known I would have just over 3 weeks left with him.

I wish I’d known.

I wouldn’t have done anything differently… maybe that last weekend I’d have visited instead of assuming that everything was going to be exactly as it had been for the past 5 months.

But I didn’t have the gift of foresight.  I did have the gift of 3 more weeks… but I didn’t know they would be the last 3 weeks.

It’s been almost 2 years.

I miss him as much now as I did the day he died.


Big Bike Ride

In 2009, my late husband had a heart attack.  He had been having chest pains for about 2 weeks prior, but neglected to tell me because he figured they were related to his ankylosing spondylitis.


That changed our world forever.


Then 3 months later, he had another one.


I wouldn’t have gotten another 3 years with him, without the amazing skills of the doctors and nurses.   All of which was backed by the reasearch done by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.


In just over a week, I’ll be doing the Big Bike Ride with the Heart & Stroke Foundation in Williams Lake.


I’m hoping to raise at least $250.


If you have $5, $10, $20 or more that you’re willing to donate – please go here to donate:


He died in June 2012.   In 23 days it will have been 2 years.   I recently was looking through old texts and saw one from him that said he was going to get serious now about losing weight and getting healthy.


3 days later he went into the hospital.


He didn’t die of a heart issue – although his heart was affected – but I believe that the pancreatitis came on as a result of the many medications he was on due to both the ankylosing spondylitis and the heart condition.


I am grateful for every day I got with him.   I want to help others have those days with their loved ones.


Mark in Fruitvale