I would like to pay tribute to my dad - Robert Lee Smith - and my uncle - John Paul Zuroweste.
My dad passed on 14 years ago this coming Veteran's Day. That day was very befitting for him. He was in the Army Corps of Engineers in Korea during the Korean War; he was in the Coast Guard after that (even though he had a fear of water). He was a leader in the Sea Lions - a youth organization that taught boys about boats, knot tying, water safety. My dad was a very quiet man and not very affectionate but he was my dad. The night before he died I had a dream about him. I dreamt that when we got to the hospital to visit him the next day he would be gone. When we got to the hospital the next day it was my dream come to reality - everything about that day was the exact way it was in my dream. The nurse came down to his room and said she was just in there only 5 minutes before and he was still alive and talking to her. We missed our good-byes by 5 minutes. I know he is in a better place - a place without pain, a place with love and health and laughter. He loved a good joke!
My uncle was the best thing since sliced bread. He hated being called 'Uncle Paul' because he didn't want anyone to know how old he was! He told us to just call him Paul but we had too much respect for him to leave off the Uncle part so we called him 'U P'. He got a big kick out of that and so did the friends and neighbors he had. He was a very argumentative man - loved to argue about anything. When he and my dad would get together - oh! the words would fly! My dad was a Republican and my uncle was a Democrat. They would argue for hours on end on who's party was best and why. I wasn't told until about a month after U P died that he had passed. I lived too far away to go to the funeral was the reason I got for not being told sooner. Like my dad, I know he is in a better place. No one ever told me what he had that killed him but I knew it had to do with smoking and drinking because a year before he passed on he quit all of that.
Thank you for being the men you were - you are both sorely missed by your granddaughters and grandneices that never even got to know you or meet you.
Back to the Front Page of the Class
Back to the List of the Samhain Tributes