Nazgol Kafaei Shahbaz

Nazgol Kafaei Shahbaz

Dear Mami and Babi,

Thank you for building this beautiful life for me. I want to thank you both for the courage you had to support your own families through the islamic revolution. Dad, I especially want to thank you for remaining strong; for having the courage to attend university each morning, and stay in the hospital with your mother who was battling cancer for 6 years during the night, for having the courage to say goodbye to your brother as he fled Iran alone one night through the mountains - without any idea when, or even if, you'd see him again, for having the courage to tell your father that you were not going to pursue medicine. Mom, I want to thank you for having the courage to tell your parents you wanted to marry my father and for escaping the arranged marriages. I want to thank you both for sacrificing your lives close to your families to move to Canada without any support, any money, any ability to understand english.

Thank you for sacrificing everything you had to make sure we had enough money for me to eat, to stay warm, and to be loved. Thank you for holding me in your arms through the grueling winters, and wrapping me in your winter coats while we went to buy groceries.

Thank you for going to night classes to learn english, so that you could get a job. Dad, thank you for working those overnight shifts at Future Shop. Mum, thank you for taking the time to take me to gymnastics, skating, tennis, soccer even though it meant you couldn't buy the t-shirt you wanted for eid. Thank you for watching me and cheering me on, allowing me to learn anything that I wanted.

Thank you for working so hard to provide for me, to allow me to live in a comfortable house, to be fed, to engage in the activities that I wanted to do. Thank you for going back to school twice and raising me at the same time.

Thank you mum and dad for sending me to the school that I wanted to go. To sacrifice all the savings you had in order to provide me with the best educational opportunities you could. Thank you for telling me that I was intelligent, that I was smart, that I was able to be what I wanted.

Thank you for sending me to university despite being your only child. Thank you for making sure that I was able to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor. Thank you mami and babi for being able to support me.

Babi, thank you for the courage that you have to face the same cancer that killed your mother. Every day, when I wake up, it's a blessing that you are still beside me. Even though you cannot remember much anymore, thank you for fighting - for me and for mami. Thank you for getting up every day and facing the world even though it seems like its crashing down on you.

Mami, thank you for picking up every shift you can to provide for us now. Thank you for being able to stay positive despite losing so much.

Thank you mum and dad for making me feel loved. Even though you think that I had a hard childhood, I want to tell you that there is nothing that I would change. Thank you for always doing the best that you can. Thank you for always loving me unconditionally. Despite everything that has happened, not once did I ever feel like I was unloved, uncared for, and unsupported.

I love you so much mami and babi.