She still looks for him to come through the front door.
She hasn’t moved his things from the way he left them in their home.
Their 6-month-old daughter kisses his picture good night.
But the 24-year-old admits she’s having trouble with this one.
“I have my good moments, but when you’re so used to having somebody there with you all the time, when you’re used to being able to pick up the phone and call them and no matter what they were doing, they’d talk to you. If you were having a bad day, they were there for you to lift you up. It’s hard when you can’t do it no more,” Clark said.
Clark said she’s lost the love of her life and father to their infant Madison, and to her children, Jacob, 5, and Kylie, 8. Smith also left behind two other children, Landon and Lander Smith of Alma, from a previous relationship.
Smith, 30, who served six years with the Eastman police force, was responding to a report of a suspicious person about 9:30 p.m. Aug. 13 when he encountered 24-year-old Royheem Delshawn Deeds.
Deeds opened fire on Smith, who managed to return fire and tell a 911 operator he’d been shot, according to the GBI.
Smith was taken to Dodge County Hospital, where he died. Deeds, who fled, was arrested two days later during a traffic stop in Nassau County, Florida, and is now charged with murder in Smith’s death.
Clark, who is a manager at a convenience store and works days, said Smith would always come by the store every morning after he got off the night shift. She’s taken a leave of absence from work to grieve.
Smith asked Clark to marry him on March 6, but she said she wanted to wait for them to save some money. They’d been together for two years.
“He always made me laugh,” Clark said. “And the way he was toward me, you could tell I was like the center of his world.
“I was everything to to him. He did everything in his power to make sure I was happy.”
She’s comforted — and amazed — by the outpouring of support for her and Smith’s family.
One such gesture is a memorial ride and fundraiser planned for Saturday at the LeatherMan motorcycle shop in Eastman.
Clark plans not only to attend, but she also wants to help set up for the event.
“I just want everybody to know I really appreciate it,” Clark said. “I don’t even have the words to say right now about how much it all means to me.”
Joel Yarbrough, manager of the LeatherMan, said he knew Smith from when he would come into the store.
Yarbrough also would see him directing traffic at South Dodge Elementary School when Yarbrough dropped off his granddaughter.
“It just really hit real close to home,” said Yarbrough, who’s organizing the event with the help of friends he reached out to through Facebook.
He said the event has drawn so much support that people who don’t ride motorcycles wanted to be included. All vehicles are welcome, he said.
He’s also had an outpouring of door prizes and enough food to feed an expected 500 people. T-shirts are also on sale for $15.
“I’ve been doing these rides for, shoot, 17 years now, and I’ve never seen people respond like they have to this one,” Yarbrough said. “We’ve done ‘em for kids with leukemia. You name it; we’ve done it for ‘em.
“But this one, we’re just tired of the way our law enforcement community is being treated over the country, and we want everybody to know we love them down here, we appreciate ‘em and we’ve got their back,” he said.
Houston County sheriff’s Sgt. Joe Middlebrooks is among those taking part.
He plans to join the ride, while his wife, Jeannie, has made gifts she plans to present to Clark and Smith’s parents. She’s also donating a portion of proceeds from her wood craft business to the family and will have a booth set up at the fundraiser.
“I feel like that anytime we lose anyone in law enforcement, it’s like losing a brother or sister,” Joe Middlebrooks said. “It impacts everybody in law enforcement.”
Memorial ride and fundraiser
For: Family of slain Eastman police officer Tim Smith
When: Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016
Where: The LeatherMan, 340 Tom West Road, Eastman
Registration: Starts at 9:30 a.m.
Kickstands up: Noon
Cost: $20 per rider; $10 per passenger. Open to all types of vehicles.
More information: 478-783-2871