A Letter From the President – February 2022

I wanted to share the lyrics from a song my mother used to share with us titled, I Hope You Dance, by Lee Ann Womack.


My Mom’s name is Diane Z. Smith. The Z, for Zaino, her maiden name. She was born to Guiseppe Zaino (whom I am named after) and Maria Zaino in 1937. My Mom passed away on Feb 12.

As you may have experienced, working though the post death of a loved one (my Mom was a widow), my siblings and I went through the range of emotions. We cried, we laughed, we thought a lot. One of Mom’s favorite definitions of a good day was from Jim Valvano’s ESPY’s speech where he said, “To me, there are three things we all should do every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day.” ~Jim Valvano

My Mom was an artist, and she drew Christmas cards for over 40 years. I recall them from when I was a six year old and we have them all today. She always included a quote or poem or song lyrics with her cards and her fine drawings. So beautiful, spiritual, and so “her”. One she drew was with lyrics to the song I Hope You Dance. This was advice she gave us and her unconditional love – the greatest gift a parent can give to their child – was a foundation for us we could always go back to – no matter how we did or what we did.

I wanted to recognize her as she had a great dance throughout her life and impacted us in so many ways. She also was there for my Dad when he co-founded Smith Brothers – the company my sister and I steward today. She encouraged him to dance and was always there for him during the toughest times of a company’s cycle – the founding. We celebrated our 50th year in business in 2021. Much of the quiet support of my Mom and her advice to “wander” and “wonder” and “take a chance” existed in the founding and through my sister Kim and my stewardship. I also love that she would send us one liners from this song – not to fear and to be humble. I hope you can share this with someone and encourage them to “dance”.

Joe

I Hope You Dance
Lee Ann Womack, Sons of the Desert

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance… I hope you dance…
I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance,
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’,
Lovin’ might be a mistake, but it’s worth makin’,
Don’t let some Hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance… I hope you dance.
I hope you dance… I hope you dance.
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,
Tell me who wants to look back on their years
And wonder where those years have gone.)
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
Dance… I hope you dance.
I hope you dance… I hope you dance.
I hope you dance… I hope you dance.
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,

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