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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About Pam Avery Printed

I graduated from the University of Georgia in 1972 with a major in journalism (public relations) and a minor in business (marketing). My experience for the last 40 years includes working in the corporate world (banking), the newspaper industry (advertising design and sales), owning and selling a restaurant, restoring and utilizing several old buildings on the property, teaching private dance and drama lessons for 20 years, free-lance writing for a national textile firm, publishing two children’s books, and ghost writing a book. My last tour of duty before beginning the current chapter was working as a reporter, photographer, and columnist for five weekly community newspapers. And now I writing at Columbus State University in Columbus Ga. I consider myself very fortunate--I get to be around intelligent, energetic and enthusiastic young people. What a joy. I believe the written word is one of the most powerful tools known to humankind. And now we have the ability to reach millions with a simple click of the mouse. Wow.
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13 Responses to And He Did

  1. Karen Erwin-Brown says:

    So sorry about your Dad. Peace

  2. Thanks Karen. Our last weeks together were amazing though. I will be sharing.

  3. Ellouise Connolly says:

    Pam, your Dad had an impressive philosophy of“stewards of what God has given us to take care of”. It would be a better world if we all had this belief. SAID THE OLD TREE brings tears to my eyes. beautiful!

  4. Hal Northrop says:

    Curtis Avery was a wonderful man. So complete! For those of us that crossed his path are better persons for this privilege . May he now result in peace with his Lord.

  5. Jim May says:

    Beautifully shared.

  6. Judy Jenks says:

    Whar a beautiful tribute to your wonderful father. Thank you for sharing with the rest of us.

  7. joanncrtt says:

    Pam, My deepest condolences on the loss of your beloved father. He was an awesome man who along with your beautiful mother, raised a talented, beautiful and conscientious citizen of the world. I didn’t know your parents, I met your dad once but I do know they sure left behind this fabulous woman. You. I love you Pam. My life has been forever enriched having been loved by you. Always……………………. Joann

  8. Carrie Brown says:

    So sorry to hear about your dad, Pam. Take care. Thinking of you.

  9. Margaret N Vollarth says:

    Pam, So sorry you lost your Dad – love your poem. I tried to forward it to other Pen Women members but my address book was empty – grrr… Microsoft 10. Maybe Dianne will get it forwarded to them.

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