It was the early morning of Thursday, December 13, 1984, before I was up to get ready to go to school the phone rang. It would always ring at weird hours of the day due to the time difference between Lebanon and California. But this ring was different and it made me jump out of bed and say, “Dad” and tears started to flow down my cheeks.
My sister was on the phone in her bedroom and a few minutes later I heard her crying. I went to see her and my feelings were right – our father had passed on into eternity in Beirut, Lebanon. She was told that he had an evening full of laughter and joy with his grandchildren and neighbours and after they all left, he said to my mom, “Nevo, I am not feeling well, take me to the hospital” (My mom’s name was Nevart, little rose, but he called her Nevo, for short). I am not sure about the details, but I remember my mom telling me that while they were in the back seat of the car, being driven to the hospital, he took his wedding ring off his finger and said, “I am not coming back home. Take this.” and he died in my mom’s arms.
That news made me feel like there was nothing left for me to live for anymore, because I had dreams of becoming a photo-journalist and going back to Lebanon to work and take care of my parents – eternally. Now what? I started blaming God for not supporting my plans and making my whole world crumble… As if we are ought to live forever in this physical form… Yes, that was the capacity of understanding life for a seventeen-year-old.
That day my friends embraced me at school. Mesrobian High School’s Class of ’86 became my rock. My closest friends held me tight – we stayed out of class with special permission and just talked, cried and I was not alone.
Today, thirty-two years later, I would not change anything from my life’s journey… Almost two years later, August 1986, I moved to Canada and here I am, looking back and saying, “Thank You God for journeying with me. Life is life and death is part of life, but I am grateful for the journey this far, I would not change a thing. Moreover, I am grateful, for the fact that my father has not really left me, he lives in me and through me”.
On October 21, 2016, at the Armenian Church in Markham, Ontario – someone who knew me from childhood was part of the presentation of my very first book of Poetry, Prayers and Photography. She came to me after the event and said, “You Know Takoush, when I opened up your book, I saw your father on the left side pages of your book and your mother on the right. Your father was the photographer and your full-page photographs reminded me of his talent; and your poetry and prayers reminded me of the penmanship that your mother had. They are living through you – this is what is a Blessed Memory”.
Friends, I did not realize this fact when my husband, Gary and I were working on my book – either we plan it or not, our ancestors live through us. Pay attention to the things you say and do, because you will see that Love Never Dies.
On December 13, 1984, when my father passed away; and on August 22, 1994, when my mother passed away, the earth under my feet felt crumbled and found no firmness to walk on. The wreckage felt bigger than I can handle – however, friends, family, and other strangers who cared enough, helped me step on the fragments be obstacle, but become stepping stones to see a new horizon…
Beloved, if you have just lost a loved one, take heart – you will make it through – Time will heal – Memories will make you smile once again and you will experience LOVE once again that you have never experienced before – it is possible because Love says, “I’m Possible” when we think the road ahead is impossible.