We take this brief break from reporting on the feats of women's athletics at the University of Louisville to report the sad and tragic death of a friend and Cardinal fan.
Michael Smith will be laid to rest Fri. 1:30 p.m. at St. Francis of Rome Catholic church in Louisville, KY. He leaves behind a grieving wife and 6 month old son. He died Tuesday afternoon in an accident. He was 45 years old.
Michael was many things. A caring husband, devoted dad and excellent friend and neighbor. A proud veteran who served our country in the Gulf War and former Eagle Scout.
He was also like a lot of Cardinal...or any school's fans. Didn't have season tickets to any Cardinal sporting events. That money went to provide and care for his family. Eager to follow the Cardinal via tevevision and radio. Scanned the paper each morning for the latest news on Cardinal athletics. Not a big internet guy, not a participant in blog or site discussions. Just a fan, pure and simple.
He and I discussed Cardinal athletics when we had the chance. It waa good and revealing to get the opinions and thought process from one that was not as actively involved as I toward Cardinal sports. I recall his shock over Petrino leaving. His excitement as the Lady Cards marched thru the NCAA Tournament last year. His disgust over the Pitino incident. His recap of a rare family outing to watch a UofL baseball game.
He struggled with the daily things in life as we all do. Went thru a period of unemployment. Experienced the joy of becoming a father. Cut my grass and swept my sidewalk when I was laid up with a bum knee. Would occasionally lean over the back fence with me and have a beer, idle and non important talk about the neighborhood, life and ourselves.
The things to remember are simple and straight-forward. The past is just that, let it go. We cannot predict the future, don't stress over it. The now...the present is up to you in how you approach it and accept it. A good word or deed goes a long way when it is needed. Never delay gratitude.
I will miss my friend. The struggle of carrying on after his death will be very tough for his wife and child. They didn't have a lot of money. They can't afford to bury him. A request for "in memory of" donations instead of flowers at the funeral.
We go on in life and take the joy with the pain. Some days are good ones, some are sad. Today is a sad one. It will pass but the memory of my friend will not. Rest ye well, Michael. You left this world way too early but the impressions you made while here will be your legacy and remain forever.
Written by Paul 1/22/10