he is holding our oldest girl, Christina!"and I am so thankful to have you back in my life again"
My father would say this to me fairly often, after being reunited with him at the age of 12. My mother who had severe mental issues managed to keep my father and I separated until my older brother looked him up and found out that he was a wonderful man and telling me that I needed to get to know him. And I did, and my life was changed. At first, we would sit in the living room of my mother's house together, rather awkwardly as every Friday afternoon, we watched "The Edge Of Night" , a soap opera from that time. We both liked the drama , suspense and mystery of that show. Unfortunately that didn't last too long because my mother would be sitting nearby giving my father dirty looks and slamming cabinet doors and such, so we decided to take our Friday visits elsewhere.
We would go to a local diner and eat together, and my favorite thing to order was Nova Scotia Lox on a Bialy with cream cheese and a nice hot cup of tea with milk. In New York diners, this type of food was common, and the tea was always so good because NYC has the best water! It really does, I didn't know that until we moved to Florida and there were weird oil looking slicks floating on the surface which led us to BUYING our drinking water from then on.
During these diner visits, me and my father just talked and got to know each other. He asked me about school and my friends, he told me stories about his cousins or co workers. I became more and more comfortable around him with every visit.
Early in to our getting acquainted time, I never called him dad or anything because it felt weird as I had never called anyone that in my life, so I would just say "Hi, how ya doing?". I remember the first time I did, it just came out naturally, and my father did a double take when I said it. Of course as the years went on, I started to call him "Pop" because it just seemed more affectionate and natural. When I think of "Pop" I think of love, affection, and fun, and he was all those things. He really did say the line about me and my brother being the apple of his eye, and I am amazed at how much it affected me in a good way.
You want to know something funny? Today, I had lox and cream cheese on a bialy for breakfast! In Alabama! (we were at a nearby town in a Publix and found these items!) On Father's Day!! And, it was totally accidental, I didn't realize it was a fathers memory special!
My dad passed away in 1982, so unfortunately it was a too short but extremely meaningful time in my life. I will always love my POP and thank God for having him in my life!