For My Father
As I was reminding my father’s namesake to be sure and call his father this morning, I told him “I miss my Dad.” He said “I know.” I wonder how he knows, because we don’t talk about my father much. It must be that he himself misses his grandfather and understands the sentiment on a personal level. My father was a truly special man, smart and kind, poetic and political, wise and passionate, he was a man so generous of the heart, he was father to many beyond his offspring; he was the man to see when in trouble! He cried when I told him I wanted to get married when I was 18, telling me not to leave his house, to give him a chance “to do things” for me, he said. When I showed up at his doorstep 20 years later with 2 suitcases and 3 boxes, he let me in, befriended me, and actually said: “You know, God wanted these turns of events in our lives to coincide—I didn’t know how to handle your mother’s passing and her absence from the house, and I’m so glad God sent you to be with me.” Pretty good for an Iranian father of his generation, wouldn’t you say? My father’s business was enlightenment and encouragement, not blame and degredation. A poet himself, he loved poetry. Of course he liked Hafez and Saadi, like all Iranians do, but he loved Eraghi, Obeid Zakani, and Vahshi Bafghi. The man knew so much poetry and so many stories and anecdotes by heart, it was amazing being in a conversation with him—you never left the room the same person as you had come in, for you had learned a thing or two in the time you had spent with him. In a few days, it will be three years since he passed away. On this Father’s Day, I remember him with love and reverence, missing him more than I can say. I go to call the other father figure in my life to wish him a happy Father’s Day.