Berry's Dedication

Berry's Dedication


Berry's Breif Life
Carl's Thoughs


"Berry's Brief Life"

by Berry Joe Parker

April 3, 1998

I was born in Punta Gorda, Florida, down a dirt road named Grovewood Circle, on September 23, 1982, weighing at 10.9 lbs. My name is [Berry Joe Parker], named after my uncle. I was the biggest and the last of a family of six. My mother, {Barbara Parker}, at age 40, was a red head, small lady. My father, {Thomas Parker}, was a big, brown head, husky man at age 45, the owner of Parker Sod and a father of six kids. During the first five years, I was never home, always being in St. Petersburg at All Children's Hospital. That is where most of my childhood memories are lived. I had a cancer called Hodgkins disease, a rare but treatable one. I was three at the time when it all happened.

During those two years of my life, it was nothing but hospitals and surgery. I was on chemotherapy for six months. By not losing my hair, I was one of the lucky ones. Just after I turned five, I was released from the hospital and I've been cancer free ever since. A year later, I went to a camp called R.O.C.K., a camp for kids who have cancer. I stayed there for two weeks and it was the best part of my cancer years, doing things kids are supposed to do when you're a kid. In the next three years, I went to Alaska and toured part of Canada for four weeks and went with my family everywhere. Going to Alaska was the most fun-filled adventure of my life. My family and I went mining for gold, flying over a mud volcano, riding on train ferry's through mountains and over streams, and boat ferry's that let you view the glaciers of Alaska from a good, close view. Plus, during the summer of 1989, I went to the Everglades almost every weekend. Throughout my life, I have been to a spring up in North Florida called Hart Springs every year for the Fourth of July with my whole family. The third year I was away from the hospital, I went back for more surgery to take out my tonsils. It was probably in the year of 1990. After that, it was the last time in the operating room for me. The same year is when my dad bought me my first owned four-wheeler, a big 300 four-tracks Honda. In 1990 is also when I was in third grade at East Elementary in the same town of Punta Gorda. Serving five years there, the fifth year was the greatest of all. The teacher in my fifth grade class was the best-of-the-best. Her name was Mrs. Sherman. She was easy to talk to and was funny also. Even though the last day of fifth grade was the last time I saw her, I'll never forget her. Rumor has it, she moved to another state with her husband.

In the next few years of middle school, I met new people and made plenty of friends. In seventh grade, I was in mainstream classes that were a very hard thing to do for me, so I had to go to summer school that year for the first time since second grade. The eighth grade year of middle school, I was in the same kind of classes that I was in elementary, "P.S.L". With a new teacher, "and I mean a first time teacher of his own class". Our class was hard on him at first (although throughout the year he and I became good buddies in and out of class), and that year was the first time ever I joined a school sport. Mr. Michal was the coach and the sport was volleyball. The team placed second of the district. Mr. Michal and I also lifted weights together during sixth hour at school. The first time I benched was at that time. I benched 135 the first time (almost as much as Mr. Michal) he benched 150 easy. My max was 205 and that was pretty good for the first time!

After eighth grade, that summer was a hard one, it was when I started thinking about what I was going to do in the future and was also when I had to go to work for the summer with my dad, of course. Laying sod at four dollars a pallet, I would make about a hundred dollars a week. Don't think that it's easy, because it's not! ("Think about it... outside in the Florida hot sun... in the middle of summer... It's not a cooling thought.") Close to the end of that summer, I began football and boy, it was hard the first couple of days from not being fit. I got over that real fast. In the year of 1997 is when I began to camp out a lot more in the Ranchettes and ride four-wheelers. When I began camping out in Tropical Gulf Acres, the first was the last when my three-wheeler burned up in a fire. The gas tank exploded and just about killed my friends and me. It singed part of my hair, but I was o.k.. In ninth grade, I had some good teachers and some bad ones. One of the good ones is Mr. Bertani my English teacher, but I won't elaborate on him. Even though I thought high school was going to be the best, I was a little wrong because a lot of things that would fulfill my dreams are still in the future, like a big truck and good-looking girls.

On New Years Eve of soon-to-be 1998, I was at a party at a friends house in my neighborhood. When it turned twelve o'clock, I was in bed, asleep, I couldn't make it, and all of my friends played pranks and stuff on me. The next morning, horrible toothpaste was everywhere, my hair, on my pants, and even on the bed. On April 2nd, I went to the doctor's office for a spot on my brain. The name of the doctor is Dr. Tuite, a specialist in brain surgery. I have been to him before, in January, to have an M.R.I. done. The first M.R.I. was to see if there was something wrong with my brain. They found out there is a spot on my brain, so Dr. Tuite scheduled another M.R.I. When the results came back, it had not grown or gotten smaller, so it was really a good feeling that there would be no more surgery. Hopefully, for the rest of my life. So now, in the end, my long-lived-for dreams are able to be fulfilled, at last!