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Poetry Sunday-Joyful Play

dad as boy


Joyful Play


With arms outstretched, I whirl around

Floating, spinning above the ground.

Tiny feet dance on large shiny shoes,

Piggy back rides with giants amuse.



As I ride the waves on the back of a whale,

Now thrown off, high in the air I sail!

And on the sandy beach we bury our treasure,

With squeals of delight in castles of pleasure.



These moments delight each one is immeasurable,

Through the years repeated with love unforgettable.

Time seemed endless in those blissful days,

Of fond memories in joyful play!




© Donna Donabella 2015



My dad’s birthday is Tuesday.  He would have been 86, but died at the young age of 68 from the most horrific early onset Alzheimer’s disease.  He suffered 15 years with this awful monster.

But I remember him now as an Easter baby full of joy, kindness and always playful.  My mother called him her fifth kid.  Last week’s poem spoke of the pain of his loss, but I choose to remember his life of joyful play in this week’s poem.

Many of the memories in the poem are fun times spent with my dad, especially at the Jersey Shore growing up.




I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.  Visit them to read some more wonderful verse.

dad collage

I am also linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, and with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.  



If you enjoy reading this blog, I welcome you to share it with others. I enjoy spreading the blog love, and I appreciate all who come and read my blogs. 



Special Note:  As I reminisce about playing as a child, I am showcasing pictures of my dad.  In the top photo, he is pictured on the left as a 10 yr old boy in Philadelphia, PA.  The collage shows him as a teen with his godson, his older brother’s first born.  And as a young man just newly engaged.

The last photo, below, is of us kids (my sibs) with my best friend Cindy on the right in the striped pants.  I’m in the middle (about 5 yrs old) on the left with that  head of unruly, curly, dark brown hair.  We grew up in Philadelphia until we moved about a year after this picture was taken.  My dad would take us to the park on weekends while my mom worked as a nurse.  He called us the Motley Crew.



I leave you with a few words about joyful play.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

the crew at play

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

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  1. Zena Toledo Zena Toledo
    March 29, 2015    

    Such a beautiful tribute, photos are wonderful and your poem is

  2. Zena Toledo Zena Toledo
    March 29, 2015    

    And your poem is fantastic and illustrates nicely the joy of childhood

    • March 31, 2015    

      Isn’t it wonderful to not to gorget those joys…

  3. March 29, 2015    

    I especially like “with giants amuse ” 🙂 I recall last Sunday’s post. What a wonderful tribute …both the joy and sorrow evident in these.

    • March 31, 2015    

      I wanted to balance the sad with the good times and glad that I was able to Deb….the ‘giant’ was my dad at 6′ 1″ or at least he was like a giant to me in so many ways.

  4. March 29, 2015    

    How important it is to remember and record as you have done those loved ones who have had so much influence on our lives. This honours him well.

    • March 31, 2015    

      Thanks so much Robin…that means a lot to me!

  5. March 29, 2015    

    Such a beautiful tribute! So heart-warming and depicts your undying love for your father..

    • March 31, 2015    

      He was an amazing man and I am so glad I could honor him…thanks!

  6. March 29, 2015    

    What a beautiful poem, Donna…..and those times on the beach must have been very, very special. I have so often heard of the “Jersey Shore” but have never been there. I loved all of the old photos too. So very sad when such a vibrant person is taken down by such a horrific disease.

    • April 1, 2015    

      Thanks so much Mary…those times were extra special because those were the first memories I had as a young child….I appreciate your kind words!

  7. March 29, 2015    

    Thanks for the personal share and photos ~ Good that we remember our loved ones with happy and joyful memories~

    • April 1, 2015    

      It does help relieve the pain Grace when I remember the happy times..

  8. March 29, 2015    

    What a joyous and wonderful memory of your dad..very uplifting..

    • April 1, 2015    

      So happy you enjoyed the memories Jae Rose.

  9. March 29, 2015    

    those childhood memories are sweet

  10. March 29, 2015    

    This is a lovely gesture of remembrance…he lives on in your heart always..

    • April 1, 2015    

      Absolutely he is always in my heart Truedessa!

  11. March 29, 2015    

    I really love the postscript that added another dimension to your sweet poem of the joy of childhood…

  12. March 29, 2015    

    The memories you have with your Dad are so great, Donna. I’m deeply touched by your love & relationship with him back then & up to now that he’s gone physically. Please, never change. Smiles. Thank you for sharing all these to us, so glad you did.

    • April 1, 2015    

      Oh how very wonderful of you to say such lovely things Kelvin! It touched my heart….thank you!

  13. March 29, 2015    

    childhood is another name for joy…love those blissful moments when we were blessed by the presence of our parents…

  14. March 29, 2015    

    time seemed endless.. that’s so true. and we miss that feeling.

  15. March 29, 2015    

    I love your poem, Donna. Very touching tribute to your dad. I lost my dad over 16 years ago when he was 63 to heart disease. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a kind comment. It’s so nice to meet other bloggers from the Over40 FB group!

    • April 1, 2015    

      Melanie, I am so glad you enjoyed your visit!

  16. March 29, 2015    

    ”With arms outstretched, I whirl around

    Floating, spinning above the ground.

    Tiny feet dance on large shiny shoes,

    Piggy back rides with giants amuse.”

    A beautiful walk down memory lane, a path that is forever imprinted in your journey, of your beloved father and your joyful times with him, as a young parent, and then, later in life, the roles reversed, I imagine, to watch over him, as a loving daughter.

    Thank you for sharing your sweet stories, so charming in poetic verse, as well as these lovely family photos, in this wonderful tribute to your dearly loved dad.


    • April 1, 2015    

      So glad you enjoyed the tribute Poppy…he was a great man, a wonderful friend and will be greatly missed by me forever….but these memories will sustain me!

  17. March 29, 2015    

    A beautiful tribute and content that is wonderful to reminisce to. x

  18. March 29, 2015    

    A gorgeous tribute, and what wonderful memories to hug to yourself on the dark days. Playing is one of the things we let go (push aside) way too soon isn’t it? A mistake I am trying to rectify.

    • April 1, 2015    

      Thanks Soosie…I agree we do let go too soon and I am working on making time for play!

  19. March 29, 2015    

    What a handsome, happy and proud man he looks. And I LOVE the photo of you kids. The Motley Crew, how cute! I also love your curly mop. I can feel the radiance in the memories of you playing on the shore. Your poem is so lovely. How hard those last fifteen years must have been for him and for his family. So very sad. He was stricken very young.

    • April 1, 2015    

      Oh Sherry you made me laugh! These lovely memories help counter that sadness, and I feel lucky I have such great memories.

  20. March 29, 2015    

    This is a beautiful tribute to your dad, Donna. I wish all parents were aware of the importance of playing with their children and the impact this has on the kids.

    • April 1, 2015    

      Absolutely Gabriella….making time to play with your children is priceless!

  21. March 29, 2015    

    Nice to see your dad, Donna.

    The poem is full of joy and love and a perfect tribute. I can’t help but get excited with each memory you shared in your poem.

    • April 1, 2015    

      Thank you totomai…these wonderful words have brought me great joy!

  22. March 29, 2015    

    You captured the play and imagination of childhood here, Donna. Lovely!

  23. March 29, 2015    

    Absolutely fresh, lovely and filled with love shining from the screen. I too lost my father early and the joy that he still lives on in you is absolutely palpable. The photographs are wonderful bright cherries on a scrumptious Sunday!

    • April 1, 2015    

      Your comment really made my day Pearl.

  24. March 29, 2015    

    I believe so many can relate to your words as well as your pictures of that time of innocence and youth. Lovely tribute to your most loved father Donna.

  25. March 30, 2015    

    Happy beach memories in such a happy poem will help them to live frever.

    • April 1, 2015    

      Isn’t that the best Susan, when we know our memories will live on forever for us!

  26. March 30, 2015    

    A beautiful poem and tribute to your Dad. I love the old photos, especially the last photo.. Happy Memories for you, I am sure! Have a happy day and week ahead!

  27. March 30, 2015    

    How wonderful to look back to good times of days past. It is more enjoyable when one has a ‘sparring partner’ to enjoy the fun. Not many have the foresight to keep such priceless pics. Well penned Donna!


    • April 1, 2015    

      Hank those precious days are so special…glad you enjoyed the poem!

  28. March 30, 2015    

    This is a wonderful tribute to your Father…loved the poem and photos…Michelle

  29. March 30, 2015    

    Beautiful tribute to your Father. I’m visiting you from Mosaic Monday. Have a blessed Easter week.

    • April 1, 2015    

      So wonderful that you enjoyed the post Joyful. Happy Easter!

  30. Judith @ Lavender Cottage Judith @ Lavender Cottage
    March 30, 2015    

    A nice tribute to your dad with the poem and I liked seeing your childhood photo.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday Donna.

    • April 1, 2015    

      Those childhood photos are fun aren’t they Judith!

  31. March 30, 2015    

    Oh your father is so handsome, and how lucky you were to have been so close to him and be able to play joyfully ~ lovely poem & photos.

    • April 1, 2015    

      He was the best, and I count myself blessed Loredana…

  32. ZQ ZQ
    March 30, 2015    


  33. March 31, 2015    

    You already know my mom died of Alzheimer’s, Donna, but she was 80 when she died and had had the disease for only 2 years. I can’t imagine having to live with it as a relative for 15 years! Thankfully you have wonderful, joyous memories to have and to hold from this day forward. Thanks for sharing them with us!

    • April 1, 2015    

      They’re what bring us joy in those dark times Ginnie….glad you enjoyed the poem.

  34. April 1, 2015    

    The joy of children at play and their imaginations. Well written.

  35. April 1, 2015    

    this was joyful, playful, and definitely bouncing.

    i love how fun and quickly this poem reads.

    wonderful, heartfelt words!

    • April 1, 2015    

      I had great fun writing this and it just flowed like I was playing a game….

Favorite Quote This Week:

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” ~ Aristotle


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