Hossein Kiazand

It’s really frustrating that I never has a real conversation with you. 

It wasn’t fair, and you didn’t deserve that. 

I could always feel the love, the pride. But I never knew you. My grandfather was a stranger. 

My visits to Iran were always short and brief. Formalities to see the family I never really knew. In Iran, I catch every few words of a conversation. Jokes fly over my head, and family secrets never really make sense. I can make out the general idea of what everyone is talking about, but I can never really understand what they are saying. I am a heritage speaker, so I can say hello or ask you about your day. But I have never shared a joke with a cousin or talked about poetry with my uncles. I’m just a heritage speaker. 

Clearly I am part of the family, but the language barrier always makes me feel a bit removed. I fear my silence is mistaken as rudeness, my confusion mistaken for ignorance. But I hope, I pray, you never saw it that way. I cherish the moments I feel you understood me, even if my words did not make sense. And sometimes, we didn’t even need words. There were times I could just be your granddaughter and enjoy your company. I hope you remembered those moments as fondly as I did. 

I know you liked order and simplicity, direction and self-control. You counted the number of spoonfuls you would eat to control your portions. You took around ten minutes to brush your poor old teeth. They were old, but they were probably stronger than mine. You went on daily walks and worked every muscle in your body. 96 had nothing on you. 

Perhaps it’s selfish of me to be this hurt by a man I never knew. I never called, sent a letter, tried to stay in touch. And you knew absolutely nothing about me. Nothing. Today my friend told me loss can be more difficult when you didn’t have a strong relationship with the person. What could have been, what I should have done. Yes, I never had a real conversation with you, but I loved you, and I miss you. Even if I can’t fluently speak my own language, I hope you know this: 

.بابابزرگ ,دلم برات تنگ شده

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