MISSOULA - At the time of his death in the early morning hours of June 11, 2008, Logan Smith was nearly 10 years old. The physical location of that event was the Seattle Children's Hospital, though in truth he was in a much more comfortable place n as he told his mother several days prior, he was at home as long as he was with her. He was home in his mother's arms when the train, as he described it, stopped to pick him up, and the fog lifted.
The cause of his death was a cancer that first took a kidney and later took the rest. His mother loathes the phrase "after a long battle with cancer" but again, the truth is that Logan had an indomitable will and he fought the disease with every fiber of his being. The last four months of his sevenmonth ordeal took place at the hospital and at the Ronald McDonald House, and even though he suffered tribulations and pain that no child ever should, he never once lost his love for life, his family and his friends. At a birthday party a few days before his death, he gleefully shot silly string at his brothers and his best friend Matthew Carlson.
Logan was born on June 24, 1998, in Missoula. He was roundfaced and cute as the dickens, and his mother loved to hold him tightly and smell his head. He quickly established a pattern of minimal sleep, and when he began talking would use these nighttime hours to tell his mother of the injustices of the world. Sometimes he constructed elaborate towers and spaceships in his room, while his mother dozed in his bed. She now realizes that Logan's sleeplessness was one of the many gifts he bestowed her, as they were able to condense 20 years of togetherness into half that time.
Logan was a brilliant boy n on standardized tests, he scored at the highest eighth-grade levels while in third grade n and he often helped his older brothers with math and science homework. He knew the square root of everything. He was a social magnet who made and held friends with ease, yet he was also extremely compassionate and made sure nobody was left out.
Logan took great pleasure in food of all kinds, though he was especially fond of ice cream and chocolate. He loved dogs. He played most sports and played them very well. He swam as if he had flippers for hands, which makes sense when you consider the deep affinity he felt for penguins, his totem animal.
Even at his tender age, Logan was a presence in the life of all who knew him. The energy with which he moved through his short life will never subside, and he will continue to shape the lives of his loved ones. It is impossible to understand how such a boy could be taken at such a young age, but as Logan told his mother shortly before his death: we don't decide when we go, God does.
Logan Smith is survived by his mother Rebecca Smith; his big best friend Michael Barger; his brothers Wyatt and Hayden; his half-brother Jeff M. Smith III; his father Jeff M. Smith Jr., and numerous family and friends.
There will be a memorial service for Logan at the Target Range School gymnasium on Tuesday, June 24, his 10th birthday, from 4 to 6 p.m. All who knew and loved Logan and his family are encouraged to attend, and children are not only invited but darn near mandatory n there will be lots of cake to eat.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to two groups that helped them immensely during Logan's illness: the Jadyn Fred Foundation (jadynfred.org), and the Ronald McDonald House (http://rmhc.com). Those who wish to learn more about Logan can read the blog kept by Logan and his family at http://tumortown.blogspot.com.