My birthday, Freddie Mercury, and Pop… I do not like this day. My father may have reinvented the clock, but the truth is that my grandfather died on my birthday.

Some peoples’ lives begin with the date May 21st (like mine).

Some peoples’ lives end with the date May 21st (like Rowe Jackson Ayres, Senior).

Freddie Mercury, Queen, and David Bowie also came up with one of my favorites songs on May 21st in 1982. Found that tidbit  when I was exercising my “pretend like it’s not your birthday and honor Pop” birthday last year in Montreux, Switzerland. Also made Monsie cry. Anyway…

Yes, every year, as I’ve said, I try to do something to make Pop proud. This year was not hard. I was with the apple of his eye, Little Boy Blue (“Brother”), and two of Pop’s grandsons. Pop would have loved his grandsons. As I looked at Wyatt this morning, I saw this little sparkle in his eye that reminded me of Pop’s somewhat naughty side. He sure did love packing us in the bed of their truck, and encouraging Mimi to drive faster to seek out the potholes.

But, this year was far more serious. Pop loved his son more than any father I’ve ever seen. That is both good and bad. Pop’s generation loved via control and that was hard on my Dad. I know that.  Nevertheless, the last face Pop saw was the face of his beloved son, my father. Why? My father loved his dad. Somewhere inside, he knows his father was trying, so hard, to be the best father he could be. My dad’s “forgiveness” quotient is high (but, so is his “anger” quotient. Maybe they are tied together?).

Dad and I are not having the easiest time (attention: gross understatement). This is tough on almost everyone (including Brother, Slovak Brother, Godfather, and Momma).

When Dad suggested Thursday, May 21st as the day to have breakfast, I said, “ok.” I said “ok” because I knew that Pop would be happy.

And I know he was. (And Dad and I had a nice breakfast, didn’t we?)

It’s another May 21st when I know my …. Music Appreciation, Enrico Caruso “Nessun Dorma”-loving, WRR at its beginning, SMU grad, valedictorian of his HS, poetry adoring and memorizing, biscuit-making, turning a beautiful dining room into a storage room, visiting-his-bride-in-her-nursing-home-every-freaking-day, Jack Ayres Jr.-adoring, loving grandfather…would’ve been proud of me.

God knows, he would be THRILLED I am finally entering law school. “It’s not Baylor?” he would’ve said. But, he’d still be proud. When I told him I was going to grad school in NYC he said, “I reckon that’s a change.” True. So is this.

“Princess Wawie. I am proud.” I can hear him say. I feel finished with this May 21st and hopeful next year will not be so sad.


I hear Brother’s voice right now. I know he’s going to get a text about this. I know he’ll be happy. That’s a great feeling.

One thought on “My birthday, Freddie Mercury, and Pop

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