Family,  Fatherhood,  Homeschool,  Why We Homeschool

Farewell Father- RIP Jerry T. Smith

Early in the morning on Sunday March 29th the world lost a very great man. Cameron’s father, Jerry T. Smith, passed away peacefully at home with his loving wife Martha. The funeral was held the following Wednesday about 7 hours away from us in North Carolina.

One of the greatest benefits of homeschooling is that it goes with us wherever, and whenever, we want to go. We didn’t have to stress about missing school, getting assignments from teachers, excused absences. We just packed up our family and hit the road. Being able to spend this time with our extended family was such a blessing for us and our children. We didn’t attempt to do any sort of formal lessons. We were able to simply allow the children to feel what they needed to feel regarding their grandfather’s death and be a part of the family.

As Cameron has reflected on his father’s life the most important things he remembers are the lessons his father taught him. His father taught him to work with his hands and work hard. He taught him to keep his eye on the ball and always follow through. He taught him to face his fears and his pain and never be afraid to follow his dreams. More than anything Jerry taught Cameron that he was important, he mattered, and he was loved. These are the most important lessons in life. These are the lessons that aren’t taught at school. These are the lessons that come from living a good life and loving others.

Jerry you will be missed. I will always be grateful to you for the lessons you taught your son, without which he would not be the husband and father that he is today. We love you.

(A poem written by Cameron when he was 20 years old)

Today there’s a man
Who I wish would feel honored
For the wonderful things that he’s done.
He never was lucky to have any daughters,
But he sure has one hell of a son.

I look at this man
And see blood, sweat, and tears
From trials of life now gone by.
I’m grateful that I’ve known
All these twenty years
A man far more wise than am I

Who sacrificed pleasure
And worked through much pain
To keep me alive and well fed,
Who shaded me from
The incorrigible sun,
And helped me to keep a straight head,

Who taught me quite early
To tie my own shoes,
And helped me with loving to learn,
Who threw balls with me
And bought me a glove
And a bat. I never did yearn,

For he is a man
Who cared when I hurt,
Whose word I could take to the bank,
Who selflessly, endlessly
Went off to work–
A feat that I never can thank.

I look back at my life,
And through all that I cried,
I realize it wasn’t half bad!
I always had love and a friend standing by.
I thank the good Lord for MY DAD.


  • Kathleen Mekailek

    Was this Jerry T Smith a wildlife photographer who lived in Alice, Texas in 1974? I have a photograph that is signed and dated that was given to me and I’m trying to reunite it with the family, if they want it.

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