My Life Memoir.

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Why FOR YOU is for you

Whether this book has been given to you or you have gotten it for yourself, this book is for you, for you to discover, capture and share everything about you. FOR YOU is a blank canvas upon which you can document the journey of your incredible life. It is for you to preserve and share the memory of you, for you have an important story to share.

FOR YOU is your personal and intimate archive for you to share with those you love. When these questions are completed by you, this book becomes your gift. For you will one day leave behind FOR YOU to those dear to you, those you want to know more of your story and learn more about the answers to your questions. Sharing will help strengthen and build connections between the people you love as they remember you for your journey, your decisions, your accomplishments, your challenges, your beliefs and your dreams. For you will teach in these pages the value of perspective and experiences and living. Your story matters. And that is why FOR YOU is dedicated to you.

Rip with Erik Smith in Aspen (March 2017)

Rip with Erik Smith in Aspen (March 2017)

The Inspiration Behind “FOR YOU”

One warm June morning, Erik Smith did not wake up. Devoted husband, loving father, and dear friend to many, Erik was an inspiration and mentor. He taught me and those close to him how to live life and always be present. After an ordinary family dinner and night of watching television with his three daughters, Erik fell asleep on his couch in Tiburon, California. At some moment before dawn, Erik passed away. He was 55, vibrant, full of laughter and light. I loved him like a brother.

Erik’s service, held at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, was both solemn and celebratory. The final remembrance was given by Erik’s eldest daughters, Lauren and Lily. The girls approached the podium and read from a book Erik secretly kept beside his bed, a private diary where he would capture memories, prescribe advice, scribble favorite quotes and share his deepest feelings. Wise words and favorite sayings from Erik’s book were also printed in the Celebration of Life program for the service. So much of Erik was revealed as his daughters read from his secret memoir.

That reading became the inspiration behind the book you now hold. Erik’s passing compelled me to write my thoughts down as he did, to create my own book to help me capture more of myself for my family. (As Erik once scribbled: “Embrace bedtime storytelling.”) And I wanted to share the prompts and questions with Erik’s friends and family, so that they too might carry on his thoughtful tradition. Erik would have encouraged me to do just that, so that we could all share more of ourselves. Understanding is a powerful force in deepening our love of one another.

Each of us has an Erik in our lives. Perhaps more than one: a beloved friend or family member who passes, perhaps suddenly without warning, perhaps slowly over time. We want to remember everything we can about those we love. And we hope that they will remember us. This book was created to facilitate more understanding, celebration and love, to capture a glimpse of ourselves, before time runs out.

FOR YOU is dedicated to Erik Smith and his incredible daughters. Proceeds from sales of FOR YOU are donated to the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital Erik Michael Smith Gift Fund.

I love you, Smitty. You are remembered, forever.


October 28, 1962 – June 20, 2018

Rip with Erik Smith and friends at Stagecoach (May 2016)

Rip with Erik Smith and friends at Stagecoach (May 2016)