Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Happy Jim Smidebush Day!

This post is dedicated to Jim Smidebush, my incredible father.  

My beloved father, hero, friend, champion, and #1 fan passed away on May 24th of this year.  No words can describe the pain of this loss.  I miss him every day.   However, this post is not about my grieving and emotions.  This is about celebrating the life of one remarkable man who touched the lives of many.  His accomplishments are too numerous to mention, but he made a huge impact all around the world, literally.  At 6'6", he towered over most of the population, but one gentle smile and twinkle of his eye, and he charmed everyone he met.   He was intimidating, physically, but welcoming and warm of heart.  And, of course, how can I mention him without talking of his "signature style"...a button-down plaid shirt.  On rare occasions, you might see stripes (and rarer still, a solid color or a Big Red Mickey Mouse shirt), but 99% of the time, you saw Jim Smidebush wearing a button-down plaid shirt.  When plaid was popular, he was always quick to point out how everyone was following his example.  When plaid was less popular, he always said he was a trendsetter, and we'd soon see people following him again.  In my world, plaid never has been and never will be out of style.  Plaid will forever be a symbol of my beloved father.

After my father's passing, my family found a plaque among my dad's things.  This plaque was packed away, but it was given to him in Kokomo, IN.  He was given the key to the city, and August 29th was declared JIM SMIDEBUSH DAY.   My siblings and I were floored.  We had no idea!  My dad had hidden this away, and none of us recalled knowing anything about it.   However, we knew that from this moment on, we wanted to always celebrate August 29th. So...


Here is one of my all-time favorite pictures of my father which was taken this past Christmas:

Lastly, here is a card that I made for my family members to celebrate Jim Smidebush Day.   We sprinkled his ashes as he wished on Mackinac Island, Michigan, one of his favorite places.  He now overlooks the Mackinac Bridge and the Round Island Lighthouse.  The view is extraordinary.  I recently found this stamp of the bridge and immediately grabbed it.  I knew I had to have it.  It was meant to be.  This is the view my father will always have now.  Also, in honor of our family's love of all things Disney, you can find a "Hidden Mickey" on this card. 

This stamp is by Sunnyside Stamps, and the background plaid was created using the Three Line Border and Stitched Border by DeNami Design.  The embellishments are Candies (normally white with silver polka dots, but I colored them with Copic markers), one white button, and some baker's twine by Jillibean Soup.  I used Memento inks and Stardust Glitter Pens.  


Thank you for all you did for me.

With love,


Tenikia Pearson said...

What an amazing man your dad was and still is, Amy! Thank you for sharing your celebration of his day with us. :-)

Tina M said...

Ohh Amy, you made me tear up! What a beautiful story and what a great way to celebrate someone you hold so dearly in your heart...


Judy T said...

Amy, thanks for sharing this. Your Dad was such an amazing person. I was amazed at all of his accomplishments that I later learned about, because, I never knew any of it just from having sat and talked with him. Our last conversation was about Mackinac Island because I wanted to go there. He was telling me about his and your Mom's trips.
Love and miss you, Amy

Sherry said...

I know the pain of loss all to well and I think writing about your dad is not only a lovely tribute but a means to help you in the healing process. Those memories are precious as are pictures and the santa picture made me smile. I can tell by your dad's kind eyes that I would have liked him :) I guess the pain lessens some with time or maybe it's you just learn to live with it a little more easily as the years go by. But, Amy you are never alone because your dad will always be just a whisper away. Take good care of yourself and I hope to see you back in an Encore production soon! Sherry

Barb said...

Amy, I'm so sorry for your loss. I still have my Dad so I can't begin to imagine what it's like to be without him...

This card is a bright, beautiful tribute to him. LOVE the bridge image itself (it WAS meant to be!) and the color story. I found Mickey...great subtle touch :)

Jennifer said...

Amy, I don't even know you, but wanted you to know I was moved by your loving tribute to your father. What a testimony it is to the man he was to have such a loving daughter and family. The memories you hold dear and the affection that remain are evidence of his greatness… I'm a couple of days late in finding this, but today I'm celebrating Jim Smidebush Day in honor of your dad all the way down here in Texas!

Blessings to you and your family! :)