I just returned home with my wife and son after a Father’s Day celebration that included four generations of my family: Popa (my grandpa); my mom and aunt; my wife, cousins and yours truly; and in the newest generation, my son, Jack.
We had a lovely time out in the quickly warming, but always beautiful, Palm Springs (and surrounding desert cities of Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage). I watched my son interact with my grandpa. It was my grandpa who served as a father figure for me growing up in the absence of my own father, so it was especially satisfying to watch Jack and Popa together.
At one point, Popa, who recently turned 91, grabbed Jack’s “sippy” cup and held it up to his mouth. He asked my mom to grab her camera: “Anything that’ll make me look younger.” He got quite a laugh for his joke.
A little while later, I took out the guitar Popa gave me when I was a boy. It was my first guitar — a three-quarter scale Goya classical acoustic. (I have spent countless hours learning to play the guitar, performing music, composing music, and recording music — what has been a true adventure in music for me began with this treasure I received from my Popa). When I removed the guitar from its case, Popa’s face lit up — he recognized the instrument and reminded us that he paid $5 for it at a garage sale — an amazing deal, even 27 years ago when he purchased it.
My second Father’s Day has come and gone now, and I feel deeply thankful — thankful to Popa for all of the hard work and care he put into helping to raise me, and thankful that now I am a father with a chance to do the same for my boy, Jack.
Here’s a story I wrote of my own experience of fatherhood for my local paper, The Daily Breeze: No, life isn’t the same — and this dad is so glad — The Daily Breeze.