That Sound in the Morning

Sitting up on my bed, I try staying still and quiet to figure out what woke me up. It’s not time to get up yet, my alarm didn’t ring, I’m sure. I listen in for a couple of seconds and the sound starts up again. It is the same old sound again, the one I hear every day - my father dragging his feet across the house floor. You usually resent whatever dared wake you from your deep sleep, but this is different. I could ask him to lift his feet up when he walks, to be mindful of the people sleeping around the house, but this is different. That sound has been there every morning, echoing throughout the house for as long as I can remember. He gets up at 5:30 in the AM, groggy and mumbling about whatever was on his mind before he got up from bed, he goes down to the kitchen and starts making breakfast for us. He’s 65 years old this time around, and he does this every day. We’ve tried telling him that he doesn’t have to, that he can just sleep as long as he wants. I mean, he gets to work at 9 anyways. “Breakfast is important”, he tells us, “a good, strong start means you can endure the entire day, and if you can do that, you really can do anything”. He used to tell us this with an uncanny seriousness, as if he had given us some recipe for success, passed down from generation to generation, and it was not to be messed with or questioned. I didn’t quite get why he couldn’t just sleep another few hours and stop making the noise during my early teens, but I started to understand what he was talking about. He’s retired from two jobs now but he keeps working on every day. He always comes home late and tired, visibly spent from a long day’s work, yet he stays in the best of moods and prepares everything for the coming day’s smooth start. Then you hear him again, dragging his feet around as he heads to the kitchen, not because he has to, or feels that he has to, but because he wants to. I look up to that type of endurance, at the willpower needed to be absolutely exhausted from a life of work and still want to go the extra mile for a kind gesture. He turned our childhoods and upbringings into the best, strongest beginning.

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Be thankful

For that old man.


I know you are