Parker and Ellis
Written and Performed by Sophie Needelman
In Honor of Aaron Carl Commerson
Parker and Ellis.
These names you were given as you bore
Weight to your mother’s womb
Carry weight of the generations that came before you.
You carry your family’s legacy in your genes, your DNA,
But even more so in the way
and the people by whom you are raised.
-The people crazed
with sharing your lives with the world.
That where this story begins
Because while I had heard wonders about the man
You could find in the lobby of a dance show
By the silvery white hair adorning his head
I instead only first got to know this man
when he became your father.
The first time I met him
Your dad was lounging in an arm chair in front of the TV watching a game,
A true football fan and Midwest man.
There were baby toys spewed about the living room but
he was completely unphased;
to him, fatherhood was something so innate.
After a night of going out and being in love,
your parents returned home to me sitting on their couch
about something so trivial as my high-school uncertainty.
By calmly offering to take a look at my
college apps, lists, charts and essays, your father did nothing less than
validate me completely.
He had only really just met me but already
had so many insights into where I should end up,
what I should aim for,
what I should expect,
who I should be.
And more than anything, I can tell you
that your parents made a great team.
Before every dance performance your mom would say
“yep, Aaron’s gonna be there
-but DON’T call him Mr. Yates, that isn’t his name!!”.
The truth is, despite- or because of-
their strong personalities and independent spirits,
They supported eachother and completed eachother
with the wholes of their hearts.
So, no matter how many times Tracy warned us
about calling him “Mr. Yates”,
you could tell your dad never really did mind.
The love of the game, the loyalty, that head of hair, and those
-These elements of your father don’t have to be
looked back upon in photo albums or as memories.
Parker and Ellis, to find them, simply take a look in the mirror.
He is as much in you
as his is around you and watching over you. May you
feel his presence in your life as strong and as powerful
as that gaze of his was, because now
it is no longer contained to just one set of eyes.
Commerson: son of Gayle and Hal.
Commerson: brother of Ryan and Katy
Commerson: loving husband of Tracy
Aaron Carl Commerson
Most importantly: father of Parker and Ellis.