Saturday, October 10, 2015


My father, Jerry Anderson, died on this date six years ago from complications of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

I wrote this poem on his next birthday because I missed him.

I still miss him.

(***Update 12/2015: This weekend I went through a few boxes of my mother's carefully saved items. In one box I found every card my dad ever sent her. Made me miss him all over again***)

Happy Birthday from your Not-So-Little Girl
You wore the uniform of the elderly
A band-aid on your elbow and a striped polo tee
A dark belt hiking up your faded old slacks
Your basement packed with things from the past
Inside your clothes
There was too much room
You had never been this skinny
You had never been so cold
I will never again hear your stories retold

Now that you’re gone
I see you everywhere
In slow moving vans
Pocket protectors and grey hair
But none of these strangers have your sputtering laugh
Or twenty-five napkins of penned physics graphs
None of them read me the Little House books
Or made TV dinners when Mom couldn’t cook
You ate Quaker Oat Squares
Sat on cracked vinyl chairs                                                                          
Used felt tipped pens
Had church choir friends
Liked big band tunes
Duct-taped vacuums

But now your basement is empty
And your clothes have been donated
There’s no more chocolate cake for your birthday
And I don’t feel like your little girl anymore

To help other families battling blood cancers, I'm working with Team in Training and the Leukemia & Lymphoma.

If you'd like to donate, here is my FUNDRAISING PAGE.


  1. It's a beautiful tribute, Ann! I'm so sorry for your loss, but your dad would be proud of all you've accomplished!

    1. Thanks. I'd like to think that somehow he knows, but I don't really know how all that afterlife business works. (I'm not sure anyone does.)