Thursday, July 24, 2008

Family Story Three: Dad

In the early 90s, I remember watching my father and understanding that he was struggling. I was about 11 at the time, and I wasn't sure what he was struggling with, or why; I knew it had something to do with what was happening to his homeland, but that was about it. I just remember trying to be really quiet so he wouldn't have anything else to worry about, besides what was already obviously on his mind.

It's almost 20 years later, and things are different now. While everything seems harder and more confusing to me, he appears more relaxed, more peaceful. He naps on a lounge chair in the backyard, surrounded by flowers. He walks miles and miles each week without an iPod so he can enjoy the sounds around him in the forest preserve. And shortly after his 61st birthday, he bought himself this car:



One afternoon last month, he invited me to sit with him while he washed his car in the driveway, using the special hose attachment my mother had given him for father's day. I sat on the hood of my own car, watching, while he turned up the volume on the Bob Dylan CD in his stereo.



"These lyrics are really incredible," he says, referring to the song Mr. Tambourine Man. "Have you ever listened to the words?" I stare at him, marveling in the fact that he is even listening to the lyrics. And the fact that my father, the 62 year old Iraqi doctor, is listening to Bob Dylan at all.

My sister made him a mix CD of songs for "driving with the top down." I'll never forget the look on his face when he found out that Janis Joplin wrote a song called Mercedes Benz. "This is really the name of the song?" he asked with beautiful disbelief and excitement. He just couldn't believe there was a song named after his very own car...

5 comments:

Sara Ashes said...

I know I'm already an emotional wreck, but this is making me cry! Thank you for writing it sissy. Love you.

Reem Tara said...

Thanks sissy! I mostly wrote it for you =)

sarah l. said...

your family is amazing.

luai said...

that's awesome, I hope I get to see you guys this weekend

Genia the Queenia said...

this just looks like so much damn fun! I would love to do this sometime...