Rosemary's Blog


Happy Birthday Drew
April 27, 2015, 11:23 pm
Filed under: Family and Friends

Today is the 41st birthday of my oldest son Drew Smith.  How I wish he was here to celebrate with those of us left behind.  You are loved dear Drew.  You are missed by everyone who love you.  Thank you for letting me know you were around me today.  I needed to feel you close.  I am one day closer to you and your brother Jeremiah.

The photos below were taken by Louis Bickett, a dear friend of your father and me.  Louis always remembers you by taking photos at the cemetery on your birthday.

Love,

Mom

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Mamou Screening
November 2, 2014, 5:52 pm
Filed under: Family and Friends

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On Friday, September 12, 2014, our dear friends John and Callie Berzas hosted a screening for our documentary, Space Between Breaths, in their hometown of Mamou, LA. Luther and I have been friends with John and Callie for over thirty years. We met in Dallas at an independent pharmacy convention and bonded instantly. Luther and I attended the convention by ourselves. At the night of the closing event, we chose a table with only two open seats. As luck would have it, we were seated next to John and Callie Berzas from Mamou, LA. Their sons John John and Jacob were at the table along with their friend Chad. From this one night, a friendship was born that has lasted when many others have not endured.

Callie and John have supported us all the years since the deaths of Drew and Jeremiah back in July of 1992. When Callie learned about my documentary, she said she would love to host a screening one day in Mamou. It may have taken us seven years since the premiere in Lexington, KY in 2007, but the event finally happened this September.

The photo at the beginning of this entry was made the day before the screening. Luther and I are on the left with John and Callie on the right. Callie had a surprise for us that day as were arrived at the event location. Note the beautiful banner in the center of the photo. Callie had this banner made from the cover of my book, Children of the Dome. What an amazing gift from our wonderful friends. They shipped the banner to me after we flew home. I used it several weeks later at a TCF Regional Conference in Frankfort, KY.

The Mamou screening was a moving experience. I was able to meet many bereaved parents that I had contacted over the years but had never met. Luther and I also were able to meet many friends and family members of both John and Callie. We both felt like we had always known each person we met that night. They brought enough food to feed the entire town, made a special cake with my book cover as the topping, and welcomed bereaved parents from as far away as New Orleans to the event. Mamou felt like home.

Our son Fong flew in from Nashville to be with us this weekend in Mamou. His professional knowledge is always invaluable at a screening. Fong also loved the people of Mamou. They made him feel as welcome as they did us.

I wanted to share some of the comments Callie received after the Mamou screening.

Message from Callie’s friend Freida, “Good morning, last night was beautiful, you did good, your friends are very special people.”

Message from Callie’s friend Lula who had lost her baby brother in a car accident when he was 15 back in 1982, “Thank you Lord for giving my friend the strength to have done so much for so many people. She is a blessing in my life always. Thank you Callie. I love you my friend.”

Message from Callie received as we were at the airport getting ready to fly back to KY, “I couldn’t have done it without God’s guidance and my love for you and your family and my love for all the children and families from Mamou. Plus, I know my Mom, Dad, Tony, Shayne, Drew and Jeremiah were directing my every step.”

Message from Bonnie, “It was a beautiful evening – a message of Hope for all. Thank you.”

Message from Chani, “The presentation was amazing. My friend Annette whose only son died in May was really touched by the presentation. How blessed are you to have such an amazing friend for 30 years.”

Message from Annette, “It was a very positive message for me that we can have a productive different life after tragedy. What a huge blessing. It is wonderful to listen to people who have walked the journey. It gives me such hope.”

Message from Kim, “Tonight it was beautiful to see so many parents through their pain show strength, courage and love to each other. Comfort and encouragement is a legacy that speaks of the love our children have, and it would be a shame to not extend that love to so many broken hearts.”

Message from Jackie, “It was very nice and comforting to be around so many people who know all what we have gone/been through. I enjoyed myself.”

Message posted by Callie, “Thanks to so, so many people who turned out last night to visit and watch Rosemary Smith’s film, Space Between Breaths. She will cherish each and everyone she met last night. You are all near and dear to my heart. Even though words are not spoken, my love and prayers are with each and every one who came last night. My husband went to clean up and pick up chairs this morning. I want to thank the angels who cleaned and picked up everything before he arrived. God always send angels in our time of need. Thank you to Fong for operating the film and production. And to Luther Smith for supporting his wife in her ministry to so many. He is the Rock Behind the Scenes! Thanks again for supporting their ministry by coming out last night. Love and prayers.”

Message from Mona, “Thank you for allowing me to be a part of that special event! I enjoyed being with everyone.”

Message from Suzanne, “It was wonderful and I’m so BLESSED Benny was there with me. Thank God for Rosemary and Callie and everyone that helped.”

Message from Jenny, “Everything was perfect!”

Message from Heather, “Thank you so very much for thinking of my parents and for their angel and book. The Smith family are truly genuine people with hearts of gold! God had y’all meet for a reason, and I’m thankful for the chance to meet them.”

Message from Tammy, “Callie Berzas, anyone who knows me knows that I am never at a loss for words! LOL I never shut up! But, congratulations, Callie, you shut me up! After what I saw, heard and felt Friday night, I have no words to express to you how much I love and admire you! You promised me a long time ago that Friday night would come true and you made it happen! I finally met Rosemary and it’s all because of you! Thank you for one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten! I know that you had a lot of help getting it done, but anything and everything has always got to start with one person, one voice! Friday night started with you and your voice! I really do have to mention your WONDERFUL husband, John! When I would see him look at you Friday night, I could see in his eyes the love he has for you! That’s something a wife can’t buy! It’s there or it’s not! And I know the love you have for him! Thank you, thank you, thank you Callie for making a dream of mine come true! May God bless you and yours.””

Message from Jency, “I heard the event was a huge success. I hope it blessed all those who attended with comfort and peace for those that they have lost.”

Message from Tiffany, “You did an amazing job Mrs. Callie.”

Message from Marettie, It was a great turn out. Thank God for Callie and Rosemary.”

Message from Bettie, “It was really nice and I really enjoyed everything. I was so happy for the turnout in spite of the weather. You did a beautiful job with everything. Glad I got a chance to meet Rosemary.”

Message, “Although I was unable to attend, I am reading Children of the Dome. It helped me through a very difficult yesterday, my son’s birthday and also the day my daughter Angie got her angel wings. When grief is shared it diminishes the pain considerably. Thank you, Rosemary, for an inspirational message.”

Message, “Callie I so enjoyed myself Friday night. Rosemary, Luther and Fong are so blessed for being wonderful people, they took us as people they knew for a long time.”

Message, “I really enjoyed last Friday night meeting others who have lost children. It helps so much to talk to someone who knows how you feel and also enjoyed watching Rosemary’s film. Thanks to everyone involved.”

These wonderful comments show you the love and compassion shown to us on our visit to Mamou. Luther and I loved getting a chance to reconnect with Callie and John’s sons, JJ and Jacob. Meeting their wives and children was the highlight of our trip. The Berzas family truly do God’s work.

Rosemary C. Smith



Smith Brothers
July 25, 2014, 11:35 pm
Filed under: Family and Friends

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Bond Brothers
July 25, 2014, 11:27 pm
Filed under: Family and Friends

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Who are the Bond brothers buried right next to my sons Drew and Jeremiah in the Lexington Cemetery in Lexington, KY? Their names are Thomas Waters Bond, the older brother to Frank Benson Bond. Why are they buried alone and not with their parents or other relatives?

Honestly I do not remember when I first noticed the graves of Thomas and Frank. It may have been that first dark year when Luther and I wandered aimlessly there every Thursday. It may have been a year or two later when visiting the graves of Drew and Jeremiah was not as painful and I was able to look beyond their graves to see those two solitary headstones. I do know that when I did notice them, I was never the same.

Thomas Waters Bond died On December 20, 1859 at age 2 years, 4 months and 16 days. That would make his birthday sometime around August 4, 1857.

Frank Benson Bond died on May 4, 1875 at age 15 years, 7 months and 19 days. His birthday would be close to October 16, 1859. Frank was born into the Bond family about two months before his older brother Thomas died in 1859.



THE NUMBER TWENTY-TWO
July 22, 2014, 10:07 pm
Filed under: Family and Friends

Tomorrow is July 23rd, 2014. What is the significance of the number twenty-two with respect to tomorrow’s date. Those of you who know me well know the answer…it has been twenty-two years ago tomorrow that my sons Drew and Jeremiah passed from this physical world into the spiritual world.

At this time twenty-two years ago, Drew and Jeremiah were alive and well. They were in Indianapolis at the concert they had longed to attend for months. It’s now 9:46 pm. Who was performing twenty-two years ago at this very moment? Was it Metallic or Faith No More, one of the two acts on that night prior to Guns n Roses. The boys had great seats and were living their dream of being together at the concert of the year. Were they thinking of the three of us left at home? I seriously doubt it. Our family has always loved music and going to concerts. They were in their element. They were waiting for Guns n Roses to hit the stage.

I have no idea when the concert was finally over. All I know for certain is that Drew called us at 2 AM and made the statement that has lived with me for the past twenty-two years. He said, “Mom, we’ve had the greatest night of our lives.” How prophetic was that statement? Knowing their last night was the greatest night of their lives has carried me day after day, night after night. It carries me tonight as I sit here reliving that last night again.

Drew and Jeremiah, you have not left our lives. Your Dad, your brother Jordan and I have not forgotten the love and light you brought to our lives. We miss you as much today as we did twenty-two years ago. We are closer to you each day…..

Love,

Mom

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Drew’s 40 Today
April 27, 2014, 10:54 pm
Filed under: Family and Friends

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Today is April 27, 2014. Forty years ago today, April 27, 1974, Andrew Siler Smith was our first born son. That day is as clear in my mind today as it was forty years ago. Luther and I were both pharmacists working in Louisville, KY. Luther was the manager of the Walgreens in the Heyburn Building in downtown Louisville. I was a pharmacist working for SuperX. We were living in our first home at 1241 Beechwood Ave in New Albany, IN. Luther had just turned thirty and I was twenty-six. We were young. We were excited. We were nervous about having a child. We had two dogs, a poodle name Corey and an airedale named McKeever. Our world was about to change forever.

Andrew Siler Smith was born at 5:35 pm on April 27, 1974. He was not a pretty baby! He was jaundice and actually looked like a little old man when he was born. How we fell in love with that little old man at first sight! The birth of a child is truly a miracle. Luther and I have been blessed with three miracles in our lives; Drew, Jeremiah and Jordan. Our lives would not have been fulfilled without all of them.

While in the hospital I was told I could not name our son Andrew Siler Smith because of his initials! I always knew we would call him Drew so his initials would never be an issue. How wrong I was. I clearly remember the day Drew came home from elementary school and said, “Do you know what my inititals are?” Believe me, any monogram I had for Drew always had D.S.S.

Drew has let us know that he is with us today on his birthday. Last night, we decided to watch the movie Philomena. We had always wanted to watch it but knew the story and so far had avoided the pain we knew we would feel. The story broke our hearts. Here was an unwed mother whose son was taken from her in Ireland and sold to an American couple. She had kept her secret for 50 years. Philomena’s son had died years before she finally tracked him down in Washington, DC. Watching Judy Dench in this role at the point when she realized her son was dead actually made me sob. I felt the emotion she was feeling. I felt the emotion that the real Philomena felt at that pivotal moment. I had felt that loss.

At one point in the movie, Philomena was trying to meet with her son’s partner to get any information she could about her son. Suddenly a red Miata convertible drove up in the scene where Philomena had gone to his house to confront him. A red Miata only hours before Drew’s 40th birthday!

This afternoon, we left the farm in Lexington to go to the Lexington Cemetery to visit Drew and Jeremiah’s graves for Drew’s birthday. Just as we were turning from Iron Works Pike
onto Newtown Rd., another red Miata convertible was there at the four way stop!! Drew was letting us know he knew we were thinking of him on his special day – like we think of he and Jeremiah on each and every day.

We visited the cemetery and sat on their bench amid the beautiful yellow and red tupils and flowering trees that Taylor and Charlie Beach had planted in memory of the boys more than twenty years ago. It was a perfect day, sunny and 77 degrees. The flowers Michler Florist had delivered for both of our sons were beautiful. We sat and remembered. We remembered forty years ago. We remembered a baby then a boy then a man. We remembered a kind, compassionate, loving son who will never, ever be forgotten while I have breath in this body. I love you Drew.

Love,

Mom



Throw Back Thursday
March 27, 2014, 9:49 pm
Filed under: Family and Friends

Throw Back Thursday

Today is Throw Back Thursday on Facebook. Since I’m not on Facebook (no time) I had no idea this even existed until Jordan told me about this on the phone tonight. He said a good friend of his brother Jeremiah, Jim Morris had posted a photo he found of his 8th grade graduation back in 1991. Jordan said he wondered if his Dad and I had seen the photo of Jim and Jeremiah. He said he would send it to me.

This is the photo Jim Morris posted today on his Facebook page. Best friends celebrating their 8th grade graduation from Lee County Middle School in Beattyville, KY. Jeremiah and Jim spent many hours together back and forth between our house and Jim’s over the years. After Jeremiah’s death, Jim has stayed in touch with us sharing his wife and children. He will never know what his remembering Jeremiah has meant to all of us.

Jordan texted me tonight that he really liked seeing how many of Jeremiah’s friends had posted notes how they missed Jeremiah as a result of Jim’s Facebook post. Jim, you have made my heart sing tonight. Bless you for finding this picture that none of us had ever seen. What an amazing gift to his family. As I told Jordan tonight, it made him come alive for me for a brief second. Made me cry tears of joy that he has not been forgotten.

Rosemary