Family remembers special loved one

By Michelle Seeber

Tamara Smart Smith, 28, who lived in Portales the last year-and-a-half of her life, was the mother of a daughter, Hailey Towler, of Artesia. She was a friend to her “special sisters, Misty, Sunnidae and Sandy Taylor” and to her “special mother,” Mary.
But most of all, she was happy, family members said Friday.
She was the only child of her father, Charlie Smart, an officer of the Portales Police Department, Mary said.
“We were praying she would heal,” Mary said. “We wanted her to be able to go get her daughter. She called me ‘Mom,’ and she called my daughters ‘sister.’ My girls were the ones she would go out with.”
Tamara died of a malignancy on April 2.
She moved to Portales from Hobbs to live with her father after she became ill, Mary said.
Tamara, Mary said, had the gift of being able to get along with anyone.
“She had a hard life,” Mary said, “but she always found something good in anyone. And she was so patient. When we found out she was sick, we brought her here to live with us, so we could take care of her.”
“Misty (one of her special sisters) quit her job and school and drove Tamara to Lubbock (several) times a week for … treatments,” Mary said, adding, “Charlie and I both work.”
During her illness, Tamara was able to visit her daughter, Mary said.
“She got to spend Halloween, and Christmas, and her birthday with her,” Mary said. “I felt like she was preparing her little girl.”
Misty said although Tamara was going through a rough time, she was “always happy.”
“She never let any of this bring her down,” Misty said. “She’d always say, ‘I’m a trooper. I’m not going to let this get the best of me.’
“If you were feeling down, and you saw her, she’d make you forget your troubles,” Misty said. “You’d say to yourself, what am I so down about?”
Mary said she, Charlie and Tamara always collected angels.
One day, before she died, Tamara looked and her dad and said, “Someday, I’m going to be an angel, too,” Mary said.
Because of Tamara’s medical expenses for chemotherapy and radiation, an auction to help raise money for the family will be held at 10 a.m. April 17 at Eagles Bingo Hall in Clovis.
Though Tamara is gone, she lives on in her family’s hearts.
“We believe every parent should kiss their child every day and tell them they love them, no matter what,” Mary said.