My Father was a man of few words. However, I never doubted His for me; because, he demonstrated by working very hard to provide and to protect us. He would get up very early in the cold, freezing weather to put wood into the stoves and light the fire. We awoke every morning to a warm house; because, of his sacrifice. Even when I later came home for a while, when my life fell apart; he would get out of bed late at night to warm my car before I left for work. Whatever choices I made in life; he loved me unconditionally, never interfering; yet, always being there to pick me up again when I fell.
He had little education; because while others went to school, he was plowing the fields behind a pair of mules during farming season. He did attend the little one room school house when he could and ultimately finished high school. Despite his limited education, he was the best financial manager I have ever known. Furthermore, he demonstrated a wisdom far beyond most men. Although, his reading skills did not afford him the ability to read his Bible; I am certain God spoke directly to him every day as he went about his work on the farm. Having grown up in an era and community where racism existed; my father stood strong, demonstrating fairness, equality and social justice toward all. He stood towers above other men; always living a life of honor, integrity, and kindness.
SAFE FROM THE STORM
As a very young child, I remember his wrapping me in a blanket in the middle of the night to carry me to the storm cellar where he had first taken mom. Then, he would return to the house for my brother. Then, he would sit on the steps of that old cellar, tightly holding onto the rickety door. The lightening flashed allowing me to look at that strong, determined silhouette protecting his family from the storm and I felt safe.
Years later I wrote this poem in dedication to him and to my heavenly Father. God so graciously chose Charles William Garner to be my daddy on earth. Because of him, I learned so much about my heavenly Father, through the life he lived. My earthly Father died suddenly of a heart attack in 1993. One day I will see him again; until then, I wish to say Thank You,
Daddy for all you have done.
Safe Throughout the Storm
by Effie Darlene Barba
The storm was raging in the night
Our house in certain peril
The lightening flash, the only light
To break the darkest hour
The thunder roar enlarged the fear
The pelting rain and hail
Twas certain now, tornado near
No where were we to run
I felt the arms that held me tight
They carried me to shelter
I felt the strength, the love, the might
My father’s arms could give me
His shadow there, the door secure
Though raging winds pulled hard
He did not budge, His mission pure
To keep his children safe