Worries about mom and dad's mortality has made me want
to go to Iran sooner and more often
August 16, 2005
This November will be 27 years since I left Iran.
Twenty of those years were spent without getting a
chance to go home. There was so much to miss that
when I finally went home in spring of 2000, I truly
regretted the time lapse. I really wished I would
have visited sooner.
My mother was walking with a hump and my father was old and frail.
My sisters were fighting gray hair and some conversations
people my age included our ailments, which really brought me to
realize I'm getting old. Aunts and uncles youth had left their
faces a long time ago, it seemed.
Of course, I didn't forget the fact that these folks went through
a lot of hardship. There was that ridiculous "revolution",
if you can call it that, and everything else that followed.
And just when they were getting used to some sort of normalcy,
the eight-year war started. I just realized the other day
that one of Saddam's charges is his war on Iran.
(Funny, the country who manipulated him to attack is pushing the
So, they got old, a lot faster than I did.
I didn't have it that easy in America. I was all by myself and
away from a warm and very close family and relatives. But
I didn't have to hide from falling bombs either. The lonely life
in America, as hard as it was, with little to no money, was still
a lot better than nights without power, food, or the security
of a descent life in Iran.
I'm very much a
realist. In the years I've been here I have
prepared myself for the day my parents wouldn't be around any more.
it is had to do with the field of work
I chose. Being in medicine, death becomes a reality sooner and
easier, at least I assume so. One day
my parents will not be here for me to pick up the phone
and call to hear their voice. I will not be able to ask
my mother "do you need
anything from America?", "can I send you anything?"
mother always asks me to send usless vitamins
she thinks are good for God knows what. My father is very different.
He has not asked for anything in the nearly 27 years I have been
in America. I have to ask my sisters if he really needs anything.
Lately, I have noticed that I think about my parents more. The
fact that they are mortal and will be gone has started to bother
me. I can't get it out of my head and I'm afraid I'm going
to lose them.
This has made me want to go to Iran sooner and
more often. As most of us who work and run a business know, that
is just not possible. It is not a weekend trip. Knowing that little
fact doesn't help my guilt however, that I have abandoned them
and the burden of their old age, doctor visits, and needs of any
kind has fallen on my sisters' shoulders. Sending money only remedies
that guilt a little, but it does not, in any ways, replace my being
I fight these inner battles every day, while trying to take
care of my own business and life here. Meanwhile, when any
of these concerns are echoed to my sisters or parents, all I hear
is relentless words of complete unselfishness on their part through
sayings like, "don't worry you have to live your own life".
I often think of the amazingly heroic act my parents in letting
their only son leave at the young age of 17, never asking for
anything nor expecting it. Now they need my presence
more than ever,
although they won't ever ask. I am amazed at this act of true
Mom and Dad,
I know you can't read these words,
appreciation as a child, goes well beyond thanking you for
giving me life and caring for me. I hope I have a chance to
that your decision to push me out of the nest is completely understood.
You waved good-bye to a son at a time where neither one of
you wanted to, but felt you had to. Hell, I don't think anyone
wanted that, but thanks. Thanks for sacrificing and suffering.
did goes well beyond anyone's expectations, especially me.
And if there is ever a prize or token of appreciation for
what you have done, it must be the fact that I turned out,
how you expected. Knowing you two, that ought to be enough.