I don't get up terrifically early. That shouldn't be a surprise for those that are familiar with my 2-11 work schedule. I don't sleep 'til noon anymore (usually) but I'm looking at a 9:30 or 10 awakening. It's rare that I actually exhibit what my brother and I referred to as narcawakey: waking up early and being instantly totally awake. Today is one of those days.
Dad would wake up and BE up. If we happened to be trying to wake up or something, he'd usually be sitting in his chair, hair all a'tussle, scheming some kind of harassment event to exhibit just how awake he was. Perhaps throwing a pillow. Maybe dancing in our direction and imploring us not to hit ourselves. We would complain and implore the man to show mercy. He rarely did.
Morning time is also breakfast time. As everyone knows, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It's also the best meal to have any time of day. Breakfast on Sundays was a family affair. The four of us would work in conjunction to put the meal together. Waking up to the smell of bacon already cooking is just about the best start to the day that can be.
I had a brief moment yesterday. I was on my way to St. Francis Hospital to visit my friend Billy, who had just come out of brain surgery. I sat at the stoplight in front of the hospital and was flooded with a wave of memories. Not just of St. Francis, but of other hospitals too. I remembered those who had passed in the sterile confines. The last handshake I had with my Grandpa Hardy. The downshifting cough of my Grandpa Dick. And I wished I'd had the chance to say goodbye to my father. The light turned green, so I composed myself and moved forward.