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    The Abrishami family home in Rasht. Photo by Jassem Ghazban-pour.

    Sing to me, once more
    My father, our home and my country have become part of my dreams

    By Pejman Asgarpour
    September 30, 1998
    The Iranian

    It was a beautiful day in the summer of 1985. For the last time my father and I hugged and said goodbye. I didn't like to show my emotions. So after I kissed him I threw myself on my friend's arms and started to cry.

    Thirteen years have gone by since that day. It was the last time I saw my father; I haven't even seen his picture. It scares me. What does he now look like? Is he really old and gray? Would I even recognize the man if I see him or would he be able to pick his son in a crowd? These questions run through my mind here and there.

    You see, my father and I were never that close. It was always my mother who came to pick me up from school, went shopping with us and fought with other parents over who started the fight between the kids. My father's role in the faimly was that of a provider.

    Since that summer day, the distance between me and him has grown further and further; a phone call this year, a letter the next. He has my pictures from graduations and things I have achieved over the years but I don't even know if he cares anymore. I truly miss him.

    I would love to sit on his lap like old times so he could sing me some song from Golpa. Or wait for him until he comes back from one of his business trips so I could get my lavashak. But I know those days would never be repeated and God knows what miracle it would take for us four, including my brother, to be in the same room again.

    It's been so many years that my father, our home and my country have become part of my dreams. It's funny that nowadays when I dream about them, I tell myse that this is impossible and I wake myself up. It's amazing how happy I get in my dreams when I feel I'm back at home. But in a matter of seconds I am back in Virginia staring point blank in my dark room.

    I am sure there are many young people out there separated from their loved ones. No father, no mother, sister or brother, living in some other part of the world. And also let's not forget that you live in a land where the people do not speak your language or understand who you really are.

    But dreams can come true. We have all lost many meaningful things that can't be brought back no matter how hard we try. But let's make the best of what we have and work toward what we can turn into reality.

    So what I will do is that, not tomorrow or next week, but tonight make a phone call. I will hear my father's voice and with all I have in me I will let him know that he is real for me and that he does not exist only in my dreams. I will let him know I would love to hug him once more and hear him sing to me. This time, yes, this time I will take something to him and show him what his son has become. As they say, "Mountains can never reach one another but people can."


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