Happy Birthday Daddy

I called him ‘daddy’. He would have been 95 today–January 23rd 2018. If we were once again together I’d be baking a pineapple upside down cake or maybe another  of his favorites–a banana meringue cake. We always made the ‘favorites’ for birthdays.


I’m remembering short visual images of life with daddy and stories and facts and a mixture of both. To the best of my knowledge the mini image memories are accurate.

Daddy had an alligator when he was pretty young. He and a buddy lived as wards at a hospital. I heard that they got it when it was small and somehow sneaked in in the bathtub where it eventually grew large enough to walk on a leash in the hospital halls. When they were eventually caught it stirred quite a commotion. Sadly, they had to get rid of it.

As two young boys without family or much of anything the pet gave them much joy and opportunities for pranks and tall tales. It was a loss to them.


When daddy was young–before becoming the ward of the hospital he would go down to the coal mines near Farmington MO and clean the miner’s lights for a nickle. Older boys would wheel him do there and on one occasion something happened (maybe there were snakes about) and they ran off and left him.


 There’s nothing he wouldn’t do
Nothing he wouldn’t try
He was present
He was the most able man I knew
He’d get the job done
Obstacles didn’t have a chance
He’d fix it—do it—somehow

The challenges just motivated more
My parents were like the ever ready bunny
Never stopping
Doing more than eyes, hands and limbs
Could ever expect
But they did
They got the job done.  6/21/17


About the Author

Angela Barnes is a published author, poet, and songwriter, and a powerful and candid speaker. She hosts live and virtual poetry events.