JEFFREY HAMBLETON SMITH
2/8-1950 to 8/29-2006
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Greeting to everyone… for those of you who do not know me, I am Jeff’s daughter, Siobhan. Today we are here at this unexpected time, to reflect upon and celebrate Jeffrey’s life. This in turn causes us to keep in mind our own mortality. There are no regrets; I carry, when I look upon my Father. To explain… This past year, there was this imperative need (which urged on through my thoughts and into my dreams) to bring our lives closer together. I just wanted to give him a big hug or just lay next to him. It seemed I was too old for that however. It was hard to find the time at both of our ends. You can never move too far away from wanting their attention and approval. It was always he and I against the world, peas in a pod! Maybe it’s some adolescent reverence or some hero complex, I hold in regard to Dad… but I was never more delighted then when we were in the company of each other. He was my home! I know we both held each other precious in our hearts too. What is in my heart will stay and in the end that’s all I need.
I am held at undivided attention when a person mentions some memories or theories on Jeff. Most are hysterical, as most people reflect on happy memories when telling a story after a death. Dad was always elated to see me… he’d never show me his sorrow or troubles. These stories encourage me as I realize his eccentricities are my own. My mother always said, “He always had tears of love in his eyes for me”. He was a big softy, always crying at commercials. I now find myself scrambling through my brain for some unearthed memory. It seems as if one surfaced, it might somehow seem as if he is still here… I am grateful though we shared more than memories. How strange though my heart feels nearer to his then ever before… An odd sense of duty seems to be knocking at my door. As the old saying goes, “I am my father, I am my Mother”. Am I what is left of who he was??? Yes, it would be nice if the man of my dreams happens on by and we are able to share a refreshing beverage or to have one of those long talks at my kitchen table instead of this. Life isn’t always nice, but what can you do??? As my father would say, “it’s just one terrible monotony after the other”, and laughing the whole way through. I’d hope that I can still make him proud, in some future endeavors I have in mind. Quite possibly to quit smoking! Hopefully, the path out of these woods will make itself visible in this uncharted territory. If not, I will find my own.
It may have seemed as though my Father may have spoiled me rotten. He didn’t, he merely loved to make me smile. He would do anything for me… build anything for me… reasonable speaking. I remember one day in the field at Nana and Pop’s while flying a kite together. The string broke… and off it went along with Dad heading up 413. About 20 minutes later he returned, agitated, but laughing with no kite. If I recall correctly, the kite was of no matter, but the idea he chased it for so long, left me smitten. On another occasion, my father produced, what seemed to be, endless bags of cotton candy from the old I-95 Market. They were to be thrown out at the end of the day, but my Father snatched them. He had a way of turning simple cotton candy into a sacred memory. Needless to say, I was thrilled. On hot summer days he would lay out his carpenter tarps as huge slip-in-slides. Every morning before I’d awake he’d leave to pick-up pork roll and Munchkins. Then, there was another time, when I was around the age of 10 or so, that I had been caught on Samuel Everett’s school roof. I was terrified – Mom was extremely upset! Dad was speechless for a few moments, and then he told me I had b___. Yet another time, he gave me this Army issue parachute for my 12th birthday, which he thought I could hang from my ceiling. There was no cooler gift for a12 year old girl. There is also a habit of which I possess; of twirling my hair… this annoyed him to no extent. Somewhere… there is a photo of the 2 of us each twirling our hair.
Much time was spent handing Dad tools or holding a piece of wood flush. It seemed endless for me, at least at that time. It appeared to cause him such frustration when the flashlight wasn’t shinning in proper placement or the right tool was not available at the right moment. There was no time for ineffective procedures. Some may have seen his methods as time consuming, rather round-about or just plain… strange. For me he made perfect sense, just as he always did. “A job worth doing is a job worth doing right”. Together we got many a hamster maze and birdhouses done.
Dad illuminated many moral values throughout my life. I think he trusted my judgment enough most times, to where he could simply guide the way. He referred that the level of character and integrity only served to enhance ones life. This was an awareness which I realized at a young age. Of course I saw his faults, some bad choices and regrets he had. His capacity for stubbornness was legendary; as he had once written to me for forgiveness “of his thickness of skull”. There are no resentments past or present I could not forgive him for. I only hope he knows how proud I am to have him as my Father.
Dad always brought a smile to people’s faces with his infectious laugh. He’d was able to put himself in others shoes, which gave him a good deal of compassion and character. My Dad, Jeff, had many roles to fulfill; including that of a son, a brother, an uncle, a husband, a friend and my Father.
What made him a Father is me… his daughter, Siobhan. He would want you all to know who I am… and just in knowing Jeff… you are all a part of me.
Siobhan McCall Smith
August 29, 2006