Peter Samuel Smith 1935-2011

I am normally a very private person and I try to keep my work and personal life separate. Babyology was never meant to be about me, but I’ve become so close to the wonderful community of readers, sponsors, and my one-of-a kind team, that I wanted to share with you all my recent personal loss.

My Dad, whom I loved and adored passed away on Saturday quite suddenly from complications related to chemotherapy and it’s been the hardest and most emotional and physical roller-coaster I have ever had to ride over the last 20 days. Not only am I trying to deal with my own grief, that of my Mum and sisters too, but  also the grief of my dear three and four year old daughters who lost their adored Pops.

My Mum and Dad met on a blind date, were engaged 12 days later and were the most happily married couple I have ever known. For 40 years they were ‘joined at the hip’ and did nothing apart. Until he became critically ill a few weeks ago, my Mum had never spent a night at home without him. They didn’t go to movies if they didn’t both want to see the same thing, didn’t go out with friends alone and couldn’t wait to see each other every day whether first thing in the morning over a coffee or when they got home from work in the afternoons.

One of the things that I remember most about him was that all of the time he spent with us when we were younger was about us. Even if it was just a spare five minutes in a restaurant or waiting in a queue, he would fill the time with some sort of game that used our imaginations. Once when we were six or seven we were in the waiting room of an optometrist and he had us make a pretend hamburger out of thin air – which was great fun until an elderly man next to us started rubbing his eyes and thought he was going blind. This exactly the type of thing that we now do with our kids.

I think some of the main things he’ll be remembered for are his piano playing, his jokes (the dirtier the better) and his magic tricks. I remember he used to be able to make a cigarette disappear up his nose! He always had his magic red foam balls in his pocket to entertain us and any other kids who happened to be nearby. My kids loved his magic tricks and will always talk about how he made money appear from under their armpits.

He was one of the friendliest people you could ever meet, always whistling or humming.  He chatted to everyone, friends and strangers alike and was always interested in other people’s lives. I had to tell the checkout girls at Coles today (whom he knew by name) and they cried and wanted to know the details of the funeral.

I hope you don’t mind me sharing this with you all but he was the most incredible husband, father, grandfather and friend. I will miss him every day.

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