January 21, 2009
By cait smith, Culver, IN

For My Father, Christopher
May 31, 1963- December 27, 2008

I remember thinking that having a dad in the
Secret Service wasn’t that different
From friends whose parents
Were doctors,
And how you went to every dance recital, play, and hockey game that I had if you could and weren’t off traveling somewhere and how you would tell me
Stories about different countries after you came back and how, when I was four, I would hide in your suitcase then cry because you
Had to leave and I didn’t want you to even though I knew you’d come back and how you had a Ford F-150 that mom sold after you died and how one of your co-workers drove us to the hospital after you had a heart attack and I didn’t immediately
Recognize you after that until it settled in and how
Everything changed overnight after mom told the doctors to go to hell and that you would make it out alive and how she was going to keep her vows to you
And how I agreed with her
And how it was the
Right thing to do
How I ended up going to boarding
School to attain a degree of normalcy
And didn’t get sent to the ER vomiting because of how stressed out I was for a long
Time actually, until two days after you died and how mom stayed
With me for hours and how telling you good bye
Right there as it happened
Both told me you were in a place and that, for three years, we did everything we could but it didn’t work out and how you’re
With God now and
How mom and I will always love you and how it
Killed me and how heavy the soldier’s hand was as he rested his hand on my knee with a folded flag at your funeral and how I was so astonished to realize
How much greater you were than I thought
And how respected you were outside of the family, too and how I told you I loved you right before you died and how I don’t feel guilty because
I know that you heard it and I owed you
That much so that you could rest
In peace. Also, I know that you would be proud of me if you were here today.

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This article has 13 comments.

atlhockeymom said...
on Jun. 6 2010 at 3:28 pm
Caitlin continues to amaze me every day with an inner strength and determination that is unbelievable. I am a mother who knows no boundaries to blessings.

rain said...
on Mar. 17 2009 at 5:25 am
Thanks for sharing these memories of an awesome Dad and how it's possible to survivie tragedy. You're an amazing young woman.

Mickie said...
on Feb. 26 2009 at 2:41 pm
It was a beautiful poem. You and your family are in my daily thoughts and prayers. Stay strong and keep the faith.

on Feb. 26 2009 at 2:37 pm
Only the Grace of a loving and eternal God can allow a child with a shattered heart find HOPE beyond such a tragedy of circumstances! Your Father's courage and your mother's faith and endurance is deeply imbedded in your heart, but God has given you a strength and a Grace all your own. May other's be blessed as you touch their lives with your gifts and your story. I've come to love you and your mom dearly and my prayers are for complete healing and a never ending story of a giant named Chris Smith.

Nana said...
on Feb. 25 2009 at 8:28 am
Caitlin there is no doubt in my mind that your Dad adored you. You were is pride and joy and his life. As your nana I know my son Chris loved you as I do and papa did. You are always loved. Nana

a reader said...
on Feb. 23 2009 at 10:54 pm
I can't imagine the struggles this young teen has endured in her short life. Your father surely was a wonderful man to have been blessed with such a sweet child. Continue sharing your writng as a means of self expression and it will bless others as it did me. Each person is given a cross to bear but with it comes the mercies of a generous and loving God. Thank you for sharing the story of your family's courage,sacrifice, and commitment to upholding the sanctity of human life. In today's society it's nice to see there are those that still choose "the road less travelled" instead of the path of least resistance.

maryweems said...
on Feb. 23 2009 at 12:41 am

Oh my God! I am so proud to know that you are at a point in your life where you can open up and discuss your feelings about The Most Wonderful Man in your Life. I have waited patiently until this moment would arrive. God have bless you in so many ways but I feel that your poem is truly a testimony of your blessing. Take your blessing and share with as many as you can. I will always love you, Kathy and Christopher.

on Feb. 13 2009 at 8:24 pm
Caitlin, Wonderful! It is sad that our time of earthly love is so limited, however remember that through and in Christ the love between you and your dad is enternally limitless. POC2U

on Feb. 5 2009 at 4:00 pm
Caitlin, your dad was a special man amoung special men. You have shown that you are from those special genes. Many that you don't know are proud of you and all that you are.

newladyblue said...
on Feb. 3 2009 at 1:54 pm

I loved your poem! It is so nice to see you expressing your emotions and reflections in this way. You are beautiful and talented. Keep up the good work at school. Big hug sent your way. Stay warm.

jan461 said...
on Feb. 2 2009 at 11:49 pm
Caitlin, you have no idea how proud I am of you. Your dad was a wonderful man but you are turning into an exceptional young woman. Your poem brought me to tears. It is beautiful!

NNK said...
on Feb. 2 2009 at 9:19 pm
Caitlin, this is beautiful! The closeness

atlhockeymom said...
on Feb. 2 2009 at 7:32 pm
A brave child, a brave heart. Words can release our joys, our fears, and our grief. They can't bring back a father, but they can help us heal. Caitlin, Dad and I have never been more proud of you than at this very moment. For 33 months and 2 days he lie in a coma, but we always knew he was "in there". He heard you then and St. Christopher is with you now. Keep sharing these feelings so that others may heal with you.


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