Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Greatest Man

I believe everyone is born with a special talent. A gift. Some people can close their eyes, see a skyscraper reaching for the heavens and open their eyes and build it. Some people were born with the gift of protection. They use their mind, strength, bodies and time to protect people who can not protect themselves. That is a gift which runs deep in my family. My Maternal Grandfather Richard Wade Smith, Sr. served in the United States Air Force and my paternal Grandfather Max Meek United States Navy. Richard Wade Smith Sr. (who from now on will be called Papa) then decided to continue to serve with the Albuquerque Police Department. He served for 22 years and when he retired his only son Richard Wade Smith, Jr. took up his Father's place on the Albuquerque Police Department. It was unfortunate for my Papa he would out live his son. My Uncle Ricky was killed by gunfire while on Duty along with his partner Michael King. Some times when your talent and gift is protection it requires the sacrifice of your life. This is a sacrifice I do not think citizens understand. I believe they care, they mourn the loss of a hero but only families can really understand the sacrifice of loving someone who's talent is putting their body in harms way to protect a stranger. My Father still serves every day in such service. He has been a Police Officer for as long as I have memory. Like I said this talent of service runs deep in my family and recently my brother has continued the family tradition by enlisting in the United States Army. We are a Navy family so I am not sure how the annul Army/Navy game is going to play out but I could not be prouder of my baby brother. He will be an asset to the Army and the citizens of the United States are lucky to have such an amazing young man protecting them. Speaking of lucky...

I guess I should get to what I have always felt my talent is. I am not an amazing painter, I most definitely can't sing like an angel and I did not follow my family's long and distinguished line of protecting. Instead I will attempt to explain my unique talent. My talent is I am lucky. I am lucky and I have always know I am lucky since as long as I have memory. Maybe due to what my Grandfather, Father and Uncle do for a living I have always understood some children are not lucky. Some children do not have good Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, Uncle and Aunts. Some children do have Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, Uncles and Aunts at all. Some children are born with an amazing Father but before they can even walk their amazing Father is deployed to far off land and never returns to be the amazing Father he would have been. I have always been aware of time. How important it is. How lucky I am to have it. I have always known no one would love me as much as my Mother and no one would work harder for me then Father. I have always known God made my Sister to be my best friend. He made her just for me and because the two of us love trouble and adventure he gave us my baby brother to help lead down all sorts of crazy paths we would not have gone and would have been the less for not going. I have always known I had the best Grandparents in the world. My maternal grandmother showed me women can be strong and generous. I was blessed to spend summers with her in New Mexico and she helped buy school clothes every year and my Papa Jack Wood always bought me a new pair of shoes when ever I visited because he knew the way to my heart: Shopping! I have always know my Papa Richard Wade Smith, Sr. was amazing, kind and loving. I lost my Papa over Thanksgiving and the loss is hard but it is made easier I think because of my talent. You see, because I always knew what a lucky girl I was, and that there are so many unlucky children out there; I always made sure I spent every second/minute/day/year I could with family. I spent summers with Papa, camped with Papa, moved in with my Papa for a brief time right after high school, went to Lobo Basketball games with my Papa and traveled to see my Papa on Christmas. I have always known my grandparents would probably be the first ones I would lose and because of this I make sure I have time with them.

 It did not work out that way though. Some times life has other plans. My Grandparents were not the first to go. I have been blessed to have my family healthy, breathing and loving right beside me for the majority of my life. Until my Uncle was slain. That I did not expect. That I was not prepared for. In my account of time losing him so soon was not calculated. It hurts. The loss of time I should have had. His death hastened the decline of my Papa's health and that hurts too. That one man, one bullet should be able to take two people I love from me before it was time. With the loss of my Papa though I have found a treasure. I have been given back some of the time that was taken from me. Taken from my family. I have been given the captured time of memories in form of photographs. My Papa was an avid  photographer and has a huge collection of 35mm slide I am just now starting to convert to digital images. I am new to editing photos but I will be posting them here to share some of the time I found in a 35mm slide with my family and to share beautiful photos with you.

This was taken between 1966-1969. I am not sure of the location. If you recognize it or are family and remember it I
would love to know so I can add it. Just leave a comment at the end of this post where it says "comment" and
let me know. Thank you.

My Uncle Ricky. I am not sure of the location.

My Mother. Between 1966-1969

Uncle Ricky between 1966-1969.

If you are a teacher teaching graphic design or photo editing you may use the images I post. If you are a home school Mother teaching her children how to use photo shop you may use the images I post. If you are a graphic designer and sell homemade graphics on ETSY or large scale stock photos to corporations you may you the photos I post. The only thing I ask is where the photographer credit line is it reads: Richard W. Smith, Sr. He would be very happy if he knew his photos brought you joy, helped you teach or helped you feed your family. Thank you for stopping by and remember time is all we have, we have too little of it and nothing is more valuable.

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