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For My Dad: The Early Riser

Kenneth is a rural citizen of Hamilton, Ala., and has begun to observe life and certain things and people helping him to write about them.

This Introduction is NOT About me

and for that, I am glad. Very glad. And really, it was time for a piece like this to be published because the person that I am spotlighting is worthy of every accolade possible that could come to another mortal man. I am on one of those in-your-face, write from the heart, and take no prisoners by writing this hub. I don't really care about me, but the man I am about to tell you about. I care a lot about this man . . .My Father

Note: I published this hub a moment ago and with a flash, HubPages showed a red-lettered notice about my dad's photo being too small which was to appear here, so being the obedient sheep, I deleted my dad's photo. Although it was the only photo of him that I had that would go along with this hub . . .I wonder if sometimes rules made all so strong are good.

He Was My Father

or daddy, was in all intents, an Early Riser. His was not a garnered-title, but in all probability, a badge of personal honor that only his dad passed down when he knew that my daddy was old enough to take on the shoes of a man and work like he did each day that God sent, except Sunday. About the honor thing, I don't know. I wasn't there on Nov. 3, 1916 when my dad, Austin Avery, was born. Sadly, I missed his passing by mere moments on Sept. 25, 2006.

Frankly, I am not over his passing yet. Sure. I won't brag here, but I am familiar with "time healing all pains," "every good thing has to end," and the best one: "ashes to ashes and dust to dust." All things considered, my dad isn't here in my life. Just his priceless memories. (This piece is included in that thought).

Yes, daddy, for some reason, maybe "that" certain brand of fear that accompanied those of my dad's generations, knew what it was like to get up at daylight, work like the mule that daddy was plowing many days until dark. This was true work. Not like the work that came to me when I was 18. When I really want to feel humble and very small, all I have to do is sit down in a quiet mood and survey all of the "work" that daddy did over the course of his life and the "work"that I did in my earning years and a few tears come to my eyes.

I know now as I did then when I first noticed that my daddy's health was slowly declining, but leave it far from me or my sister or my mother to mention this fact even in the most-loving way. Why? I am not ashamed to tell you that my dad would have thought he was being insulted. Men like him did not know what the term "burn-out" meant. Men like my dad went from early sunrise, like I said, to dusky dark. And still, there were those family chores so prevalent for those of his lifetime. Livestock was needed feeding, firewood cut and brought to (his) mother's wood stove for cooking breakfast the next morning if it were a work day. In any regard, daddy rose to meet the sun even on Sunday morning when he could have sneaked by and slept a few more needed-minutes.

But for him to sneak by anything--work, providing, doing a job and just living on what he said that he would do took it all from my daddy because he gave his all. I confess. When I was healthy and young enough to pull those double shifts in the local newspaper business, I did take a few coffee breaks during the hours of 3 a.m. until 7 a.m., but not that many. For somehow I always thought that I could feel my dad watching over my shoulder. And with "that" type of motivation, I just wanted to make him proud of my work, my life, and to top it off, him.

This, the first of cup in the first rays of the sun of daylight says it all about my dad. This ritual of being the first up and first to bed was what made my dad special.

This, the first of cup in the first rays of the sun of daylight says it all about my dad. This ritual of being the first up and first to bed was what made my dad special.

Then Came the Time

when my dad like many others in his neighborhood, went to the United States Army for these men called their trip "going to be examined" at Montgomery, Ala., at Maxwell Field where he and his friends were put through several tests, physical soundness, and even strength. Guess what? I am bragging here: my dad passed with flying colors.

He served the charge of his officers with pride, dignity and respect not only for his superiors, but to the Army itself. He would sometimes laugh and share with me (when I was older), how tough it was being a long way from home and having to move as fast as a cat when a sergeant or officer above that would "bark" orders at him and his friends in the Army Basic Training and the one story he liked to tell was how he was made to crawl on his back with an M-1 rifle, full back pack underneath barbed wire while live ammunition was being fired over his head and others. But did he choke? Are you nuts? If you even doubt that he not only stood the training, but became close friends with those in his platoon. Or you haven't been reading what I have talked about with you concerning my dad.

With Army Life now Being

history, my dad came home and decided that he wanted to be a farmer. So he did. With a mule and few pieces of equipment, he made several crops before I came along and even before I married, he would show us photos of him in the field and photos of the prettiest girl in Mississippi: My blessed mom, Mary Dean (Lee), born June 2, 1922. Passed August 19, 2010.

Theirs was a long marriage, but to be fair, they endured lots of hardships in those 60 plus years. And yes, in all of their marriage, even when they reached retirement, daddy was always the first one up because he wanted to get an early start on the day--or that is what I would like to believe. He cooked the morning meal so my mom would sleep and get some needed-rest as her health was not that good, but she carried on in his final days.

I remember well the afternoons when the sickness had taken its toll on his once-husky body--now he just lay there on his bed, frail and weak with eyes set and each breath was labored. There were those times when I stood by his bed and although he didn't reply, I truly believe that he heard me shed tears of grief as I watched (and felt) the torment that was about to take him from life.

But daddy took it all each pain to the next. He never complained or tried to cause any trouble. I think, if I am anyone to think that he wanted to pass on as he lived . ..with dignity.

I miss and love you, Early Riser. I think that I will simply call him "Dad." Happy Father's Day!

Note: I can assure you that none, not one fact or reference in this piece was exaggerated. If I were tempted to stretch the truth, I would cringe and say, what's the point? But I just want all of you to know that the entire body of work in this hub is True. All true . . .

And you can believe this or not. I do. And that's all that matters.

June 9, 2018___________________________________________

This is Orville Winsett, my late father-in-law who in many ways, helped me in many ways like he was 'my" father. I would be remiss if I didn't include him in this hub.

This is Orville Winsett, my late father-in-law who in many ways, helped me in many ways like he was 'my" father. I would be remiss if I didn't include him in this hub.

© 2018 Kenneth Avery


Kenneth Avery (author) from Hamilton, Alabama on June 30, 2018:

Liz -- your sweet comments move me. Thanks a million. And as for me using a photo with my hubs, I do not own a Smart Phone, one that photos can be uploaded. I hope to have one one day--depending on the cash flow at the time. But you really have me thinking about a phone because that would all but eliminate graphics to use with hubs.

Thanks for everything.

Kenneth Avery (author) from Hamilton, Alabama on June 30, 2018:

Dale -- I am so sorry about your mom, and dad for that matter. Did you like to spend time in a barn loft? It was heaven on earth when I was a kid--safe, comfortable, and no one could find me to do harm to me.

I would wager that we will have barn lofts in heaven. I will not try to dispute it.

Write soon.

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on June 14, 2018:

I am glad for you that you have memories of your dad. My own mother died when I was just shy of turning into a teenager and you get more used to it but you never get over it. My dad was an absent dead-beat so i never got to have any memories of him (well not good ones anyway). I am sad for your loss with your fathers passing but glad that you have something to remember him by.

Liz Westwood from UK on June 13, 2018:

This is a moving and well-written tribute. Have you tried taking a photo of the photo on a phone or camera and then uploading it? I know the quality might not be so good, but it might get around the size issue.

Kenneth Avery (author) from Hamilton, Alabama on June 12, 2018:

Ioannis -- I take this moment to give you sincere thanks and appreciation for such warm thoughts and words--about my dad and myself.

The one part that really touched me was knowing that he did watch over me as I wrote the hub and smiled when it was finished.

Thanks again and keep in touch.

Kenneth Avery (author) from Hamilton, Alabama on June 12, 2018:

Tyrse -- I sincerely appreciate you and your feelings toward this hub. I did what my heart asked and at the ending of the hub, I felt as I had finished it all for my dad. Not me. And that is how I wanted it.

Write me often.

Kenneth Avery (author) from Hamilton, Alabama on June 12, 2018:

Elijah -- I appreciate your input with this hub. Thank you for all of the nice words. And I am so glad that the hub helped you to feel or know whatever you grew by as you read.

Thank you again and peace to you.

Kenneth Avery (author) from Hamilton, Alabama on June 12, 2018:

Larry -- I feel your pain about your dad and the cancer. Frankly, I despise the sound of that word, cancer. And I appreciate what you said about my piece about my dad. I have, like you, often wondered how it might be if I could bring him back for an hour, and do and say what I didn't get to fulfill.

Then I would start to fulfill those undone details and he would start one of his Army stories and there I'd be . . .undone again as I would watch him smile as he faded to Heaven.

And then again, maybe "that" is how it was all intended to be.

Write me anytime, Larry.

Tyrse Fayewood on June 12, 2018:

A beautiful tribute to a man that left a loving legacy and memories like no other. Blessed be, dear Kenneth, and thank you for sharing this touching piece. Surely it leaves a timeless mark on most reading it... ashes to ashes.

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on June 11, 2018:

Proud, brother, I am proud of your father, I am proud of you for sharing.

You reminded me a lot of my father, and thank you. He went away 20 years ago, and I miss him every single day! He was a lot like your father. So thank you a lot for the tears I shed while I was reading your Hub!

I am sure your Early Riser is proud of you now!



Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington DC on June 11, 2018:

Well revealed, Kenneth, one of your better works I must say.

Being a boy of indifference - in the difference between love and hate - I've never had attachment to nor rejection of my daddy, nor mother, both who lived to age 96. They both were necessary stepping stones in my life to cause me to understand and accept pains and pleasure equally which produced my indifferent to all opposites. Reading your assessment of your "parents" really made me to look over mine's lives and that is what I saw.

As a matter of fact, they are the cause of me not having attachments nor rejections which has opened me up to be objective in my observations and, like you for your parents, I am very grateful for their place in my life.


Larry W Fish from Raleigh on June 11, 2018:

A heartwarming and emotional tribute, Kenneth. Time does heal, but the memories are never forgotten. My dad died at an early age, 59, of lung cancer. It has been 48 years since his passing and I still remember so many things like it was yesterday. I wrote a hub about him, A True Craftsman.

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