Rest in Peace, Stanley Smith

It was probably about two weeks ago when I got a random call from Pat Smith, Stanley’ wife. I can’t remember the last time we had talked. She wanted to know if I would be available to preach Stanley’s funeral in the ‘not too far off future’, as she put it. She indicated he was ‘going down quickly’ and they had been making arrangements with the hopes I might speak at his funeral service. (Stanley had battled cancer the past year or so)

I’ve know the family for years but rarely see them much anymore. Stanley and I might occasionally cross paths at the local food mart up the road and visit for a few minutes and then go on our merry ways. I knew Stanley had a brain tumor removed about a year ago and had undergone some chemo treatments. But all in all, he looked like he was getting around rather well and he always had a smile and a cheerful word to share when he saw me.

So when Pat called me, it sort of surprised me of her assessment of his prognosis. I told her that I would be more than willing, of course, to help out in any way I could. I knew I was going to be driving by their place the next day to do a photo shoot for another family and told her I would like to stop by and visit with them.

As planned, I stopped by and had a nice visit with them both and then, as an afterthought, I asked them if they would mind if I snapped a few pictures of Stanley. I had my gear with me since I had finished up the other shoot so I ran out to my truck to grab my camera. As we sat out in the garage visiting, I just snapped a few pictures, thinking that at some point down the road, they would be glad to have them. After all, you just never know when that time will come as you get up in years.

I really was pleased with some of the shots I got and had some prints ordered thinking I’d drop them off and show them when they came back in. My order arrived Friday evening, and I was going to be gone all day Saturday so I figured maybe Sunday afternoon I would run them by to deliver them to them both.

Sunday morning, Pat called me to inform me of Stanley’s passing the night before.

I drove over a little later to visit and express my condolences, and to give her the pictures as well. I think she was touched to see them, as was some of the family that was there also. It reminded me of how I made a point a year ago to get some good shots of both my parents and my in-laws. You just never know how long you will have loved ones with you and pictures can really be a treasured keepsake- especially current or recent shots. I’m glad that Pat nor Stanley thought it odd or imposing for me to do these shots and I trust she will be blessed to have these in the years to come.

The funeral is tomorrow and I pray for God’s presence to bring comfort to this family during their time of loss.

Rest in Peace, Stanley Smith.