Horrible allergies. Broad shoulders. Eyes that are a sort of light green/khaki color. Love and devotion to Mildred and Rowe Jackson, Ayres, Sr. Enjoyment of playing ball rather than watching. Tuna fish with vinegar, not relish (gross). Grapenuts and cold milk. Deep appreciation of emergency rescue men and women. Obedience to my church. Life of service to others (got a double parental dose of that one).
These are things I inherited from my dad. Sure, there are more. These are a few things. It’s the broad shoulders I’d like to comment on.
Dear Rowe Jackson Ayres, Junior,
You gave me broad shoulders, swimmer’s shoulders. They are not delicate and feminine; however, they are good, strong shoulders.
They hold a lot of people up and provide a place for many people to lean, to cry, and to hide.
Even as a small child, I “got” it. You were my first hero because you helped everyone in need. I would sit in my bed waiting for you to get in after your nights serving as a Paramedic. I was both scared and proud of you when you would stop to take a call on the police radio. I will never forget meeting Officer Cox and then hearing he’d been shot in the line of duty. I also remember you told me you were going to “take care of his family.” I think I was 11? Around that same time, I remember you spoke out in favor of women’s rights and gay rights in our church and encouraged people who didn’t believe in equal rights for all God’s children to go find a “church” (my quotes) that believed similarly. I also remember those shoulders picking me up when I was I had appendicitis and rushing me from camp to the hospital. I remember a lot of stories about your broad shoulders.
Those broad shoulders get tired, don’t they? I learned it the hard way because I got them from you.
A few years ago, you told me, “Most of my clients never called me again after I won their cases, set up their trust funds/financial plans, etc. I don’t know what happened to the children or to them. Not even a Christmas letter or something because no one thinks about that.” Of course “that” is your heart being invested in your clients and even the people you help on the street. I felt very deep sympathy at the time, but I now feel empathy. I have spent years in service, just like you (and Momma), only to find myself wondering, “What happened to her? What ever happened to those kids? What about him, did he make it through?”…I wonder, without answers.
So, tonight I’ll give a special pre-Father’s day “thanks” for the broad shoulders inheritance. Like yours, they are tired and perhaps overused. But they are the greatest part of what I inherited from you, Dad.
Well, that and the eyes. I’m the only person in this world that has your eyes…and your love of tuna fish.
Bug of Yours
For Father’s day, June 14, 2014, Uitikon Waldegg, Switzerland