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And He Did

Dad was diagnosed with cancer on April 21, but I had the feeling he was sick the week before. About the same time that my gut began to tighten, the huge oak tree fell at my studio. As soon as I saw it, I knew my father was about to take on his last challenge and that it would probably prove too much for him.

And it was.

He crossed over to be with Mama on Memorial Day. He fought a tough, pain-filled battle for over a month and did so with the same dignity, strength and determination that guided his 94 years in this dimension.

Curtis Avery, Jr. had a great life — one that most of us can only dream of experiencing.

He was married to his sweetheart for almost 61 years and spent a lifetime doing what he loved — raising cattle and taking care of the land.

He was a conservationist long before it was in vogue. He believed that “none of us own land. We are simply stewards of what God has given us to take care of. We are supposed to leave it better than we found it.”

And he did.

In the weeks and months to come, I will share more of his stories with you. His ability to weave a good tale and keep his audience completely absorbed were great gifts. And I will try my best to do them justice.

But today, in his memory, I post again what the old tree said to me.

Said the Old Tree

“I got tired and fell,” said the very old tree,

“but I knew that it was time for me

“To return to the arms of sweet Mother Earth —

the loving one who gave me birth

“From an acorn that fell 200 years ago,

or could it have been 100 more?

“I do believe I lost track of time

during this long and fruitful life of mine.

“Standing majestic, straight, strong and tall

against the storms of spring and the winds of fall.

“Until that day I started to bend

and could no longer resist what I knew was the end.

“So I laid down to rest on the ground from whence I came,

not caring that I will never be the same.

“For another will sprout from my decayed bones,

and keep my eternal spirit from being alone.”

April 10-17, 2016

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