By SMITH HART – For SLAM! Wrestling
The diagnosis is official, I have stage 4 terminal cancer. I have been told that I could potentially have another year.
In my convalescence here at the cancer center in Calgary, I have been blessed with visits from my siblings Bruce, Georgia, Diana and Ross, and have had my son Matthew and daughter Tania by my side. I have also enjoyed very kind phone calls from former world champion Dory Funk Jr. and former boxing champion Chuck Wepner.
It hasn’t been an easy life as some may think. I grew up the son of an icon and that shadow of Stu was insurmountable. I know my parents wanted big things from me. Where my father saw me as an heir apparent to his athleticism, I was never as dedicated as an athlete as he was. I always wanted to have my hand in the creative end though, and while I often butted heads with my parents over this and other lifestyle choices, it never waned my respect and admiration for them.
To all of my siblings, I want you all to know how much I absolutely love all of you. We haven’t always been the closest of siblings, but I do love you unconditionally.
I have often been asked who my favorite wrestler was and while growing up I admired men like Sweet Daddy Siki, Archie Gouldie and Waldo Von Erich. I have never seen a wrestler as talented as my brother Owen, who encompassed everything good about wrestling and about humanity. Owen was the most incredible person I have ever been privileged to know and if the world were filled with people like Owen there would be no need for police or politicians.
While many think of me only as a brother to the infamous 12 of Stu and Helen’s brood, that was just the start. Primarily I have been a husband and father and now grandfather in this life and nothing has given me more joy.
I first fell in love with a lovely girl named Marla with whom I had my beautiful daughter Tobi. While Marla and I may not have been meant to be, Tobi is an absolute Godsend and I am so proud of the incredible woman and mother you have become to my beautiful grandchildren Jessica, Amanda and Isabella. Tobi, you inspire me daily.
In 1978, I first wrestled on the island paradise of Puerto Rico for Carlos Colon and Victor Jovica and there I fell in love with and married Maria. Maria and I were blessed with a beautiful daughter Satania. Tania is my princess and has been my rock. Tania you are beautiful beyond words and please don’t ever let anyone make you feel less than the princess you deserve to be treated like.
After Maria and I rekindled my love with the beautiful Lianne. Lianne and I were blessed with sons Matthew and Michael. While Michael is winding down his days in the ring, I have never had as much joy in my life as I have been to share the ring with my sons in training or as a manager to them. I hope you keep the fighting spirit of our family alive. Matthew you are the future of this business.
Later I had a brief love affair with the gorgeous Zo with whom I was blessed with my final son, Chad. Chad, I want you to know that I always cherished the moments we have had together and I wish I could have been there for you all along.
While I have had some tremendous friendships along the way, and a tremendous family, nothing has ever meant as much to me as my children. To all my children you can never know how proud I have been to be your father.
Thank you to everyone, I know my opinions on wrestling may not always have been everybody’s flavor and my views on the world have always veered to the left. But I thank you all for joining me on this ride I have had through life. I will continue to keep everyone up to date with where I am at and I am continuing to work on a book as I lay here.
Smith Hart is the oldest of Stu and Helen Hart’s brood of 12 children, and has been a long-time friend of SLAM! Wrestling. Keep up the good fight Smith! We’re rooting for you!
Top photo: Mae Young and Smith Hart at a Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame induction weekend in Amsterdam, New York.