In the immediate aftermath of revolution, the word "Edam", execution, was the word of the day in our lives. As child, it made me shiver everyone time I heard from someone's mouth. At the beginning I didn't really know what it meant. But the grim nervous faces of people who murmured it, assured me that it is not a good thing. Shortly, I found out that it has to do to termination, annihilation of an individual. People were too busy and preoccupied to explain the concept of mortality to a child. Finally, an older cousin explained to me that people, when they reach a certain age or circumstances, stop being around! They go to afterlife. They stop living. This is how I learned about the death. It scared me a lot. Then I thought what if my own dad died, or worse even got executed. That older cousin was friends with a group of Pasdars. He took me with him one night to hang out with them. I somehow associated the execution to them and asked one of them what it was. The bastards thought it was funny to give me a demo. One of them held me in his arms while a group of others put my cousin by he wall, aimed their Kalashnikovs at and shut. him. Obliging to the show, fell on the ground. I was shocked and burst into a loud hysteric cry. The cousin rose and assured me that it was only a joke.
That night I had a nightmare that they have executed my dad. I woke up and cried out for my father. It looked like forever before he appeared by my bed side, held me in his arms and assured me that he was never going to be annihilated. He took me to his bed and I slept next to him for the rest of the night. For some time, I would wake up in the middle of night to go and check if my dad is breathing in his sleep. Once assured, I would go back to sleep.
Ever afterwards, I always had an issue with my dad dying.
I received a phone call a couple of weeks ago from Iran. It was the phone call everyone away from family dreads. My dad's physician, a close family friend, advised me that my dad was terminally ill with advanced stage cancer and his days are numbered. He advised me that it is his duty to ask me to come and see dad before the end happens. I knew he was ill, but I guess the family was protecting my concealing the extent of his illness. 48 hours later I was in a hospital in Tehran. He has been hallucinating a lot lately, so when he saw me, he touched my hands and face for a while to assure himself that I was real. He was beyond recognition. At 66, he looked 90! I stayed by his bed side for two weeks that I was there. An immigrant's life gives little concessions for compassionate leaves. Leaving him was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I had to sneak out life a thief in the middle of the night so he won't see me. I did not get to kiss him, possibly for the last time. Then again, I'm much luckier than many of my other compatriots. I got to see him; many do not have that luxury. None the less, I am left with an overwhelming number of question marks hanging above my head, a lump in my throat.
Should I leave everything that I have worked for very hard and move to Iran to be by his side? Should accept his fate and continue business as usual? Should I head to my logic or emotions?
This is not a new story. It has happened to many people in my generation. It is very difficult to sum up what this bloody revolution and the regime which stole it has done to psyche of my generation. Issues that we had to deal with throughout our short lives are, by any standard, overly dramatic and unique, my own experiences being the least compared to others.
Will we ever be able to stand in the face of this regime and hold them responsible for all they have put us through in our life times? Will there be justice? I don't know! If not, I hope this is the price we pay so that the future generations enjoy a more just society and experience a tranquil, drama free life.
Will my generation ever heal?
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