Sunday, April 20, 2014

Life, A Poem By My Father

 (Bill Pruitt) William Pruitt Jr.'s high school Sr. Picture

“Who knows nothing base, fears nothing known.” — Owen Meredith

My father died April 20, 1998. He suffered most of his life with health issues surrounding a heart condition, which fought him at every turn. My dad was one of the most loving and personable men I have ever known. He left a legacy of perseverance in suffering and selfless love for his family and friends. He was, as his grave marker reads, “A loving father of three grateful children.”

My dad loved life and he loved his family, and while I did not know him well, I treasure what I do know about him and what he has taught me. After his death, the following poem, “Life,” was found in his personal belongings. I was made aware of this poem well after my love of poetry had developed and well after I had started writing poetry myself. I cannot help but believe I have received this love of poetry, and the ability to craft poetry, from my father.

Another treasure that I found in my dad’s Sr. yearbook was a quote by Owen Meredith beside his picture. This quote simply states, “Who knows nothing base, fears nothing known.” My dad’s courage, zeal for life and rejection of fear in the face of his own illness and hardships inspire me in the face of my own fears, insecurities and uncertainties. I treasure these gifts that my father has given me, even after his death. Discovering these treasures has been a continuation of knowing my father and growing in my relationship with him until I see him again in paradise.


He was hit!
He suffered
He wept inside
He died.
He never gave up.
Although he cried
He is man.

“Courage is afforded at a high cost but the reward is great.”

© William Pruitt

 William Pruitt Jr.'s (Bill's) college graduation photo

"Sir William Pruitt Jr.", photo by Uncle Charles H Burroughs Jr.

Dad on the front porch at 1216 Shirley Street in Columbia, SC

Me and Dad at my High School Graduation in 1995

William Pruitt Jr.'s Obituary from April 1998

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