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It is one of those things, no matter how much time has passed, no matter how long you have lived with it – it is still there. The thought lingers in the back of your mind day-in and day-out, the unexpected brings it to the forefront.

It was Dec. 19, 2008 I was working at Wawa when I got a text from my brother – “Jim Smith is dead.”

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Jean and Jim Smith -- Love you sky big

I couldn’t believe it, thought it was some kind of curl, sick joke, so I questioned what he said. He told me it was true, Coachhad just gotten the news and told the team – he was at an away wrestling match.

We had known Jim for what felt like years, the Smith family was like an extension of the family of a lot of peoples families. When my brother and Jim were both wrestling for one team – well it was one big family.

Somehow I keep composure finishing out the day, despite what my brother had said I still did not believe it.

By the time I got home, the news and Facebook both confirmed my greatest fears – what my brother had said was true, but the story still got worse…

It was not until I got home that I found out Jean “Momma” Smith had also died. The news called them “slayings” when a “random burglary” had gone bad.

That year they held a memorial service at the local high school, where Jim, myself and hundreds of others had graduated from a year earlier. It was a gathering of old friends, a terrible reason to be reunited.

Three years have now gone by since both Jim and Jean were taken and not a moment have they been forgotten.

There are days that I wish Jim was still here, but I am glad to have all of the great memories that will always linger.

Wrestling matches weren’t the same after that; even to this day it would be strange to sit in the stands without Jean cheering nearby.

Jim and Jean, as well as their entire family, had affected the whole town. They had both opened there hearts and let everyone in – when you needed someone they were there, they could always make you laugh and even when you had disappeared for awhile, they welcomed you back with warm open arms.

Tonight, I’ll go home and throw back a few brews in honor of you two amazing peopleyou may be gone but you will never be forgotten.

Love you sky big

**In less then 72 hours the police had the murder in custody, in 2010 he was coviced of capital murder and sentanced to serve life in prison without parole, you can read more about what happened HERE.

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