April 7, 2008 by 8junebugs
I remember Langdon Smith about the same way I remember my late paternal grandfather and the way I think about Grandpa. He was a farmer who didn’t need much to be happy, and his love for his family spilled over on the rest of us.
When I think back, I will picture him laying on the couch in the afternoon, or in the main hall at Field Days, where he usually manned the LDS booth. I will see him sorting through coins for his collection and finding a new arrowhead in one of the fields. I’ll see him at the head of the table, ribbing his kids, their kids, and their kids’ friends. (None of us were safe.) I’ll hear him telling me to keep an eye on my watch that first year we worked the Reggae Fest. I’ll see him with the model of the Mormon Temple, explaining his faith to people who split very easily down the Protestant/Catholic line.
Grandpa Smith was playful in a way that contrasted with and complemented his no-nonsense wife. She’s a stern lady, a rock in the face of hardship…including this one. I’ve always felt she was born into a time that was no match for her–she belongs on a covered wagon, raising moral children and making a hard land prosperous. Although I know that she will face this with the same grit and faith with which she’s faced everything, I can’t imagine what she must be feeling, alone in that big old house after so many decades of sharing it with her husband.
Rachael’s grandpa left this world as quietly as he moved through it (by the time I knew him, anyway, he’d quieted down). He died Friday night and was buried the next day in a plain pine box without any kind of fuss. Even his obituary is simple and straightforward: wife, five kids, five grandkids, and four great-grandkids. That was his life–family and faith.
It was a life well lived. If you have time today, please spare a thought or a prayer for the ones he leaves behind…and for my little nephew and niece, Colby and Kamryn, who won’t have the chance to know their great-grandpa after all.