Sometimes in life, we take things for granted. I believe it is because we get accustomed to having them.
We have people, for example, in our lives each day and they are always around us. They are there when we go to bed, and they are there when we wake up each morning. My father was that way. He was always around, leading our household. Upon some reflection now, I probably took my dad
I never had to wonder if my dad was coming home. It never occurred to me growing up that I would have to ask my mom where my dad was.
I hear the term, “a good man” a lot these days. I am not sure the term was used back in the day. All that I know is that my dad made me feel safe, secure and loved. I never had any doubts or trepidation about his daily presence in my life. The life lessons he gave me back in the day have
stayed with me to this day. He was a role model for me in every sense of the word. He passed on many years ago.
My dad, Dr. James B. Ewers, was a dentist in Winston-Salem NC. He was Jamaican and a graduate of the Howard University School of Dentistry. Afterwards, he moved to Winston-Salem
and met my mom.
At the time, he was the only Jamaican in the city. I can’t imagine what that was like. He then sponsored my cousin,Wilfred Ewers who became the second Jamaican in the city. As I grew older, I began to see that my dad was greatly respected and admired. People saw him as a leader and a
difference-maker. There were always people at our house, some just seeking counsel and a good word. On the humorous side, some were also intrigued by his Jamaican accent. I found myself at times being an unpaid interpreter.
My dad was a big man with kindness and gentleness wrapped inside of him. He had character, integrity and honesty. I saw it on display every day. Yet as a boy, I probably could not have
used those words to describe him.
Being from the West Indies gave my dad a keen sense of money and how to value a dollar. He also understood that not all his patients could pay him for his services. There were occasions when he would take me horseback riding or bring food home. I later found out that these were his
patients who didn’t have the money to pay him.
I can remember like it was yesterday some of the long and exhaustive lectures that he gave me. I would sit on the couch, and he would begin. It was important to him that I was respectful and that I not get into any trouble. I can recall his words, “Jimmy my boy, if you get into any trouble don’t call me”. As a young boy, you can imagine the thoughts I had when he uttered those words.
It made me apprehensive knowing that he meant what he said. Well, it worked. Would he have come to my aid? I believe so. However, I never had to find out. He was never called by any
official at any level about his son getting into mischief. Education was emphasized in my house. I always knew I was going to college because my parents talked about it very early
in my life. It was simply where I was going. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my dad.
He gave me the foundation and the fundamentals for successful living. I am thankful to God that he blessed me with him. Sunday, June 18 th is Father’s Day. If your father is living, celebrate with him and if he is not, remember him with fondness.
This column is dedicated to my father and to all fathers.