Remembering April Renee

This poem is shared in memory of our dear “little” sister, April Renee Ball (WVU ’84) who passed away on Aug. 30, 2017. You may read her obituary here.

April obit photo
April Renee (Barrick) Ball

When, from St. Mary’s Hospital

Sparky returned home in the snow,

she carried with her

the scarlet-faced baby

that forever, to Mickey and me,

would be Little Sister.


Walking home from school with you

from first grade on,

I thought would last forever.

But then I chose a path in 1974

which, to this day, remains a mystery.


On a return trip home you smiled away

as the speakers in my orange Beetle

blasted Uriah Heap against your ear drums.


In time you found a man

I considered worthy – as if it mattered.

Together you gave me two of my best friends –

your daughter, your son

my niece, my nephew.


Though separated now by timely death,

apart physically but present in spirit,

the bonds of love between Little Sister, Big Brother and Big Sister

are held together by memories,

and our dearly departed Mother and Father.


With a prayer of joy and a tear in my eye,

I daily thank God

for January 10, 1962.

© Michael M. Barrick, 2017


  1. I only met April on 2 occasions. However I do know Michael, and also her mother and father. Such a loving and special family. May God in His mercy show kindness and much love to all the family. I know april will be missed by all, but cling to her wonderful memories and the good times that were enjoyed by all.

    Clyde Baird, and Barbara

  2. Michael — such a beautiful tribute to your sister! Grieving with you, even never having met her. So sorry for your loss, way too soon! A hole is left in your life, filled with memories.
    Marianne & Bill Hughes

  3. With gratitude for you, your family, and especially the life of your sister, and for the love you all have for one another and are sharing with so many of us. These are not easy days,and grief is often hard work and as tiring as hard work–so in the midst of it all, thanks for the beautiful tribute.

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