“It had been 15 years…”

This weekend, I was lucky enough to spend a couple of hours alone with my dad. Just me and him. Believe me, this does not happen often. Either we are at work, we are running around doing who knows what, or we are with other friends/family. When I knew I had the opportunity to take this time, I grabbed it.

There was a lot that we discussed from what’s going on to work, recent travel, funny things from our days and on. I honestly don’t even remember all of it…mainly because there was one particular phrase that stood out to me above all else.

“We didn’t see our parents for 15 years.”

I thought I misheard him…wait what?

“When? How?” I said. I needed an explanation.

“When we came from Iran to America… we didn’t see our parents for another 15 years.”


15 years?! 15 years without seeing your parents? That concept is just not something I can understand and I probably never will.

I asked why and he said it was just too risky and with the relations as they were between Iran and the US, this was not a risk that seemed worth taking. Wouldn’t seeing your family be worth ANY risk? Well, I know that if my own parents didn’t do it, then I know they really couldn’t.

Although I can’t relate to this directly, my mind immediately wandered to a few different thoughts and questions:

  1. We take so much (so much!) for granted. We just do. Is this just human nature?
  2. This may not be our “fault” because everything is relative… right?
  3. How do we keep perspective and continue to remember what we have and not what we don’t have.
  4. How amazing is human strength?! How were my parents even able to do that? If anyone had asked them before, they probably would have said “no way, not possible.” It was.. because they just had to.

I do know something. I won’t forget this phrase. “We didn’t see our parents for 15 years.” 

Not only will I remember this because it demonstrates the intense impact that the Iran and US relations had on our own families, but also for what this phrase represents. Strength. Sacrifice. Perseverance. 



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