Many years ago a mother of a young strappy boy traveled to Greece to bring home his wife. Her son's bride was 15 years younger and excited to go travel to the USA to live with her new husband. She would travel alone on a plane back to the states after her mother-in-law to be had come for her. When her mother-in-law came she grabbed her belongings, said good-bye to her family and got on a plane. The mother-in-law had noticed another young lady traveling back to Greece that her son knew from English classes at Roosevelt. She asked her to take care of her son's bride on the long flight back to the USA. And from the moment on, these two ladies became best of friends. Not just best, but lifetime friends. Almost like sisters, since their own sisters were in Greece. Here they would raise their families together, learn English together, and try to assimilate into this foreign land. They watched their Soaps for language, had play dates with their babies, and cooked their meals from the old country for dinner. Many nights, sharing their meals and lives.
This year in December, the young bride is turning 60. Yes, this lady is known by many as Popi and I love her like my mother. Especially during these times when my own mother has been suffering from an illness that robs one from their own lives. Many times Popi has been the one who has come over and folded my laundry, cleaned my home, and brought me homemade pasticio. Many a nights we've sat together and held mom together and wept over the loss of a loved one. She has been a yiayia to my babies and has babysat when my mom couldn't anymore. When I was recovering from my Thyroid surgery, it was Popi and George who came over to my parents and they all sat there watching me, making sure I was okay. I love this women and I know she has gone through some great loses in her life recently. But in the midst of these great loses she is dearly loved and greatly esteemed in the lives of my family and of course sissy's.
She has been the lifetime friend to my mother and the only one who comes on her lunch break to visit her best friend. To sit with her, to hold her, to love her. And I love her for that. It makes my mother so happy. And if my mother knew how she would end up in her later years of life, she would be so grateful that Popi is here to love on her girls and her grand babies for her.
I will always hold dear the "best in the West" BBQ chicken dinners we would have, the limo ride to Vegas for Jason's wedding, the recovery, the births of all our babies, and the endless supply of hugs and kisses from my dear Popoula and her pillows! I love you.