Faith,  My Dad's Life Journey

Is Life Hard Sometimes?

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Is life hard sometimes for you? Admittedly, life can be hard, because as we are on our journey, things don’t always work out as we expect them to. Sometimes, you may think that it’s always a fight, no matter what you do.

You know what I discovered? It is a fight! You fight to keep your finances under control, to keep yourself in good physical and mental health. In order for us to survive well, we subsequently, have to fight in order to accomplish the things you feel are important to you, such as: college degrees, new house, new car, financial stability, to win the love of your life, then to nourish that relationship to keep it loving and fulfilling.

Fight for Your Life

Today, I want to share a real-life account of my 90 year old Dad’s life, as he started his journey in this life. In this journey, we call life, it is definitely a fight to survive and flourish. In spite, of your determination to become who God wants you to be, you will fight to be and obtain what you want out of this life. One thing for sure, you should understand that nothing will come to you easily. You have to be determined (in the fight), to make things happen. That determination, is what drives us to keep going. Keep going in our faith, endeavors and to achieve what we set our hearts and minds to.

About This Blog

This blog is about my Daddy’s journey up to his current life at 90 years old. It is going to be a series with several episodes. I hope you will follow along, as we go.

As many know, my Dad is a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My Dad wasn’t born a minister. From the very moment of birth, God had a plan for his life. This blog is his story from his eyes and perspective.

My Life’s Journey,

Written – by Dr. L. J. Barnes, Sr.

For me it started, October 7th, 1929. I was born in Wahoo, Florida.

This is an area of Sumter County, Florida, bordering the Withlacoochee River. This location was a heavily wooded area, (out in the sticks) we would call it. My family’s home was built in this wooded area. The day before I was born, the family home was completely destroyed by fire. Consequently, the family had to live in the goat’s house. So I was born in the goat’s house.

Old house in woods on fire'

My First Fight For My Life

The day I was born was very much a fight. In those days, the family doctor made house calls. On the day of my delivery, the doctor saw my skin was blue and I was dead. My Mother witnessed the doctor working hard to revive me. First, the doctor submerged my small body into cold water and then warm water, several times. Second, he placed his lips on mine to breathe life into me. I started to breathe, and was alive! Satan’s attempt to prevent me from coming into this world, was denied, as God had a plan for me.

As A Small Child

One day, when I was 2 years old, and my sister was 5 years old, our Mother was hospitalized in Tampa, Florida, for a few days. She left us in the care of our grandmother (from my father’s side). Our grandmother, decided to place an Ad in the Tampa Tribune newspaper, stating if anyone wanted to adopt or buy me and my sister, to contact her. I am not sure why she did that, unless they thought they couldn’t afford to take care of us, until my Mother was released from the hospital.

While my mother was in the hospital, by chance, she saw our picture in the newspaper, and she was furious. She immediately signed herself out of the hospital, and came to our rescue. It wasn’t long after this, my parents decided to divorce. My Mother married a Navy man, who had been stationed in New York. He was a Chief Petty Officer and career sailor. He was always good to us.

Growing Up in the Bronx

My next recollection is, I was living in the Bronx. I was about the age of five or six years old. I really wanted to play football, with a group of kids in the area. They said, I was too small and I got mad and called one of the boys a name.

Afterwards, the boy came running after me. He chased me up to a high rocky place and pushed me off. As I fell, (I remember to this day), I saw a sharp pointed rock coming to meet me. I landed with my forehead stuck on that rock. Blood was flowing profusely, my sister ran to me and held my forehead together as we walked to our apartment. My parents took me to the hospital, where I received several stitches to my head. This being another example of Satan’s (not the kid), attempt on my life.

Learning Life Can Be Ugly

I had a fairly normal school life, with the exception of a Junior High School incident. The principal had me interested in developing photographs. He started to make moves on me and I told my Mother. My mother, brought charges against him for his behavior as a pedophile. The case was dismissed, as no one believed my testimony. My Mother knew I was telling the truth and she enrolled me into a different school, within the area.

Learning New Life Skills

Harvested Hay Field with rolls of hay

At the time, World War II was active. It caused many of the farm hands to enter into the military. With the loss of their farm hands, the farmers were needing help with their farms. The school system had a plan to use kids, who wanted to, to work through the summer. I was a 14 year old, small and skinny framed kid. I wanted to make some money just like the other kids. They placed us on a train, that ran along the Hudson River to Northern New York state, where they evaluated us for the suitability to work.

A small, wirey man, asked me, if I knew how to milk cows? I answered, “I didn’t, but I could learn”. He took a chance on me and hired me. The pay was $1 a day, with food and a bed supplied. Our day started at 4 A.M. and ended around 8 P.M. We milked 186 cows twice a day, along with reaping the hay and stowing it in the hay barn. The farmer, grew corn for the cows feed too. I learned to use different tractors in the farming process. I learned to drive a 2-1/2 ton truck in the fields to harvest. The farmer, had a team of beautiful horses, and I learned to work with them to cut and turn hay.

Staying On As A Farm Hand

This fine farmer, wanted me to stay on through the winter. He said he would enroll me in school there. I agreed to stay, and went to school. I continued to milk cows daily, and cleaned up the barn daily as well, as the cows spent the winter in the barn.

Black and White Cow in Barn

The nearest town (Hammond, NY) was small and on the St Lawrence River. Canada, is on the other side of this crystal clear, cold river. The area is beautiful and I loved the work and the family.

The next summer, a sheriff farmer, asked me to work for him, and I did. The experience of working on a dairy farm was rewarding.

Tragedy Struck Home

In the fall, I came home, to New Rochelle, NY. only to find out that my step-father, had been diagnosed with colon cancer and was hospitalized, in the Brooklyn Naval Hospital. He suffered for 2 long years. My mother, visited him everyday. She traveled daily, via the train and trolleys to see him. His internment took place at a military cemetery in Long Island, N.Y.

Becoming A Navy Sailor

It had always been my desire to join the Navy and at the age of 17 years old, with my mother’s consent, I enlisted. The war had ended and frankly, I was disappointed. As a young man, I guess (like all young men), I thought I wanted to be hero. The movie industry, made the military life look attractive, some men enlisted, having no idea how tragic war was. I realized very quickly after joining the Navy, it was going to be a whole new world for me. Starting with Bootcamp training in Bainridge, MD, for 12 weeks, in the winter, was quite an experience.

This concludes this episode of my Dad’s Life Journey. Continue to follow my blog to read more.

Kathie is the Jesus loving, makeup-wearing, fashionista behind the Life & Beauty After 60 blog. She has been a CEO/owner of a staffing company and a beauty consultant for a prominent retail cosmetic brand. She lives in North Carolina with her Firefighter/Inspector husband. Kathie wants to inspire you to live your healthiest, happiest and most confident life after 60!

4 Comments

  • Cassie

    Wawww, what a beautiful story. I enjoyed reading it so much. I didn’t want it to end 😩 I can’t wait to read the rest of your dad’s journey.

  • Debbie Locklear

    I am so blessed to have Kathie as my beautiful & precious niece!!
    She has made me so proud creating her new website!!
    Kathie, I love reading about your Dad & everything you’ve created on your new website honey & pray for you a great success sweetheart!!! Love you!!❤😘

    • kbranton@bellsouth.net

      Thank you so much Aunt Debbie. I am glad you liked the post, “Is Life Hard Sometimes?”. This is going to be a series of stories Daddy is sharing the information with me and I am posting about. So far, I have 3 episodes. The second episode, which is a follow up to the 1st episode you have read, is titled, Navy Days of Dad. The third one,just published today, “Getting To Know My Beauty”, which is about him meeting and marrying Momma. There are old picturesin them, some didn’t come out as well as I would have liked but they are part of the story. As soon as he give me more he is writing about, I will be posting that. So I am not sure, at this point, how many series I will have, but it will be ongoing as long as he give me the information. Thank you for all the sweet encouraging comments. Love you much!

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