The Day After Christmas
For The Record Part IV
Dear Kenny and Tyler,
Today, December 26, 2013 was probably one of the most important days in your Dad’s life. I know it was a happy day for you also, but you may not remember it. So, perhaps you might read this on a someday and you will be able to feel that particular day all over again.
One thing I can tell you, and I suspect that you have always known this, your father loves you very much.
Maybe, by the time you read this, you will have experienced a little bit of this life. You might have children of your own. If you do, I hope you can only imagine what it might feel like to be separated from your child.
As you probably have figured out by now, life isn’t exactly predicable and it’s hardly perfect. But, like your father always says, “It is what it is.”
Your father never wanted the three of you to live so far away from each other. It was not his choice, but it was one he was forced to accept.
So before today, it had been a while since you and your dad were together.
Oh, you probably remember the phone calls, and the computer face time visits, but , you know, it’s not the same as real hugs and kisses.
I think I will leave it up to you and your dad to talk about the time before this visit. I only want to remind you of what this day was like.
The day was planned. Your dad drove his Honda Pilot from your Grandpa Deak’s house in Franklin Park. Pop-pop and I drove our car (the red Lexus) from Barnegat.
Your mom and Brandon drove the two of you from Grovetown Ga.
We were all going to meet in Richmond, VA.
Your dad left at 5:00 a.m. I know he wanted to make sure he was there when you arrived.
Pop-pop and I left at 8:00. It was about a six hour trip. Although we hit a little patch of snow and a few accident traffic jams, I was so excited. I had not seen you in over a year.
As we were driving, I kept thinking about how emotional your father must feel. I wondered what it would be like for you. I hoped you would be okay with leaving your mom.
When pop-pop and I got to the Westin Hotel, you and your father were already settled in your room. It was number 628. We called and you came down to the lobby.
I have to tell you, when you ran up to me and snuggled in my arms, well it was one of the best moments in my life!
I thought my heart would burst as I watched you with your dad. It seemed that the three of you couldn’t get close enough. It was as though you wanted to crawl inside of each other and never let go. You kept touching him, as though you wanted to make sure he was really there.
We had lunch in the hotel restaurant. It was more like a cafe. You both said you weren’t hungry. Your dad ordered a turkey blt with french fries. He asked if you wanted some of his fries. You said no.
Then the funniest thing happened. He put some fries on a plate, actually three fries. Kenny, you would look at the fries, but you were not going to give in and take one. Ty, you put some pepper and salt on one and started munching. Kenny, when you thought we weren’t looking you reached over and took one. Your father and I looked knowingly at each other, you know the way parents do, and smiled.
After lunch you wanted to go in the pool. Pop-pop went in with you.
Later on, you came over to our room, number 641. You stayed with us while your dad went out to get dinner for you. You both played on your new Mini iPads that you each got for Christmas.
We spent the night in the hotel to rest up for the trip back to New Jersey.
The next morning we went to breakfast. You both had pancakes. Tyler you had bacon. Kenny, you said you didn’t like bacon, but Tyler said, “Yes, you do Kenny.”
By now, I’m sure there would have been plenty of visits. It probably would have become a routine. But I have a feeling that each time you saw each other it always was like this day. Reunions are like that. Especially when two kids are with their dad.