I was around three when my mother met him.
He said I took one look at him and hid behind her dress. I peered around as he reached down to pick me up, frantically screamed and did a wiggle move out of his arms.
That was the start of our relationship.
My father (technically step-father), Halil, grew up in rural Turkey. He worked hard and was eventually offered a full paid scholarship to the University of Basel in Switzerland. That is where my mother and I would eventually settle after they met through a marriage ad in Islamic Horizons. My parents were forward thinking even in the 80’s!
I think I scared my daughter. Hell, I think I terrified her. When I heard the Zimmerman verdict, I lost it. I yelled the “F” word, then obliterated two of the milk crates my daughter uses to store toys. The strength of my reaction frightened me. I was hit with a rush of memories of Black men taken from this world. Some of them I didn’t know (Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant III, James Byrd); some of them I did (Gordon Arias, Trey Samuels, JaQuan Rice). I flashed back 23 years ago when a bullet entered my flesh. I then became angry with myself because I did not recall a single woman who’d been killed—I know of quite a few.
On the couch, knees pulled up to her chin, I saw my daughter’s eyes wide and wet. She was shaking.
Omid and Roya
Some women have dreams about their weddings.
Some men dream about finding “the one.”
I’ve dreamed about having a kid…ever since I was 12.
Yup, it’s kind of freaky, but I have always wanted to be a dad.
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At 5:30 am the sunlight is faint, peeking between my billowing curtains, but, outside, there’s already a cacophony of birdcalls.
I’m two months into my yearlong mission in Zimbabwe working at the largest Pediatric/Adolescent HIV center in the region, and possibly the world. We have the monumental task of handing over the entire Doctors without Borders project to the Ministry of Health by year’s end. Though my colleagues and friends here have touched my heart, my thoughts are with one special person on the other side of the world.
Six months prior, I stood on a naked bluff in California overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Walking down the makeshift aisle toward me was the woman I’d dreamed of. Like most couples on this magical day, we looked forward to spending a lifetime cherishing each other.
Unlike most newlyweds, though, we’d already planned to split up in less than five months.