My Daddy never had to worry about his PSP. He was always more concerned about how the family was going to EAT. Although things were often rough, he did what he had to. I often wonder if we fully realize what he did.

My Daddy crawled on his hands and knees in a dark, damp hole dug two miles into the hills. Once there, he did work that society wouldn't ask a convicted felon to do. All he asked for was a pack of crackers that had become soggy from the water in the mine, a can of Vienna sausages and a bucket of water so that he could have an occasional drink. He did this for so long that in his later years, he was unable to straighten up and walk like a human.

After the mines robbed Daddy of his health, he was turned out to pasture. He didn't even have the health benefits that the fourth wife of a one-term, alcoholic congressman had. Daddy's health plan called for a pack of Stan-Back and a Primatine Spray. That is, when he could afford them.

At an age when most of us were looking forward to retirement, Daddy loaded his wife and four kids in a dilapidated old Ford and moved his home 500 miles in an attempt to offer them a better life. All we are, all we have, and all we have accomplished is because of the courage he showed when he made this move. I wonder how many of us would have the "hangy-down parts" necessary to make a move like that. Again, all he asked for was that there was enough money left over at the end of the week so that he and Mommy could split a can of Prince Albert.

I recall having so many good conversations with Daddy. The topics ranged from how his garden was doing, to politics, and on to sports. Although we seldom agreed on many issues, we always respected each other's opinion. I was young and conservative at that time and had all the answers. I was convinced that the most important things in life were the numbers on my paychecks. The heck with those in the world that didn't even have a job. Isn't it amazing that the older I get, the smarter Daddy was?

I was always too busy to tell Daddy how much I appreciate what he did for us. I was too busy to thank him for smothering himself to death in that dark mine. Too smart to even consider that his views and ideas might have some merit.

Life has been very good to me. I have a comfortable home (something Daddy never had), a nice pension (something Daddy never had), two nice cars in the driveway (something Daddy never had) and good health (something Daddy sacrificed for us.)

I also have a great wife, two wonderful children, two great in-laws, and three of the finest grandchildren on earth. All this was because Daddy had the nerve to try and make a better life possible for me. Don't ever recall telling him, "Thanks," but I'll see him again someday and I promise that will be the first word I say.

Reese McCoy
©October 28, 2000
All Rights Reserved

This story moved me to tears. Daddy was a very smart man, honest and trustworthy. He always worked hard and did the best he could for his family. It's true, he didn't have a lot in the way of material possessions, but we had him, and that is what made all of us what we are today. I miss him and Mother a lot, and I can't wait until I see them again someday.

One very special memory of Daddy that stands out in my mind is this: When I was about six years old, I loved bananas. I didn't get one very often but when I did get one I ate it slowly and really savored every bite. One morning I woke up and there on my pillow was the biggest banana I had ever seen. It must have been a foot long. There stood Daddy with a big grin on his face. He had found the banana at Otto Price's store and bought it for me, because he knew how much I loved them.

I wish I had lived closer to him in his later years. But at least we did get to visit often. The last time I saw him was in 1977, just after Elvis had died. I didn't realize then that he had just two months to live. But, like Kathleen, I always told him I loved him at the end of a telephone call. I hope to see Daddy and Mother again someday. I miss them both so much.

Lena McCoy Robinson
©October 28, 2000
All Rights Reserved

(Our dear Lena passed away on 10/31/2003)

The older I get, the more I see what a sacrifice Dad and Mom made. I think all people want to see their children prosper more than they themselves. Dad and Mom worked to that end and I don't think I ever heard them complain about their sacrifices for us. I, too, want to see them again and be able to thank them. Age can take a lot away from a person, but it can't take away memories. I have often thought of the amount of courage it took for the move to Michigan and I don't think I would have had the necessary courage to make that move. Dad and Mom made it because they were the best parents. I miss both of them and when I go to the cemetery at Boardtree, I always take one of the boys with me. Sometimes, I don't think I will be able to make it off that hill.

The Bible tells us that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Therefore, I know where they are and where I have to go to see them again. We are told in the Book of Ezekiel that we will recognize our loved ones.

William McCoy
©October 29, 2000
All Rights Reserved

Daddy's Hands
Sequencer Unknown To Me