Daniel Smith left us far too soon – please help with a fundraiser for his family

A photo of Brittany Johnson and Daniel Smith. (Courtesy the Johnson family)

Daniel Smith & Brittany Johnson (photo from Fox Carolina / Johnson family)

In our busy lives, it’s rare to have an event that makes us immediately stop and think, “Wait…What?”  Exactly how I felt last week when news began to trickle that something terrible had affected my son’s world.

My Friday morning started with the usual rush of getting Brett up, fed, packed and out the door early since the football team travels to the elementary schools on game days to welcome the children in the drop-off lines.  After Brett finished he called me to ask if he could “run by” Chic-fil-a with some of his buddies before school.  He heard an abrupt, “No” from me and, “You forgot to take the trash down this morning!”  I was not thrilled with the thought of Brett driving to school upset with me at all, but he needed to get to his AP English class!  Soon after this conversation I received a text message from Brett saying, “Mom, I’m so sorry!  And I’m sorry I didn’t take the trash down. I’m having to go to a meeting with the team, the kid on the news was a JV player and I KNEW him!”

This is when I stopped and thought, “Wait…What?”  I replied, “What was his name?  I love you so much!”

As the day wore on, the news alerts reported that Daniel Smith and his mother Sandy had been shot by his step-father before he turned the gun on himself in the yard.  I’m unsure how these young men and coaches managed to pull themselves together and win a football game that night.  John and I and other parents watched in tearful amazement from the stands as both teams approached the center of the field both before and after the game and knelt in silence and prayed.

After the game when I finally had a chance to talk to Brett, I was at a loss for words.  What is there to say to this?  How unnecessary!  How senseless!  How selfish!  How sad!  We said all of those words and more.  Sunday, our family sat in our church service as the youth pastor preached this particular Sunday and the sermon turned to Daniel.  Once again our hearts sank.  If there is any good in any of this, at least the pastor reported that Daniel had accepted Christ in late spring this year as he came to church youth events with his girlfriend.

Most of the Labor Day holiday, Brett spent with his team at the funeral and burial for Daniel and his mother, Sandra.  What a heavy burden for these young men to carry.  The only words that I can find to hold onto is that God is still good, even in the valleys.

Blogs are meant to share uplifting, inspirational information that help us personally or through business.  I guess today I had to share my broken heart as this event could have been any one of us.  Our time here is short, remember to love those that are in your life!

A fundraising effort is underway to assist with funeral costs for Daniel Smith please consider mailing a donation to Marathon Church, 315 Roe Road, Greenville, SC 29611.

Be warned – this video may touch your heart!


FOX Carolina 21


Pamela M. Hoyt

Comments 1

  1. Thank you, Pam. Yes, the video touched my heart. What a sweet, composed, articulate young lady to stand up and honor Daniel’s memory.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *