The father always wishes his son to be more successful than himself
hayruh guh papakeh vohrteen aveli hahchogh uhlah kan eenkuhThe
I once accompanied my father on a visit to a relative’s house.He was arranging a marriage between a young Armenian man and the daughter of a relative. During the meeting in the house of the prospective bride, my father explained what it means to be a father. He gave the following example. If a father and son are both walking in the desert and are dying of thirst, if, by chance, they find a glass of water, then father means he will give the entire glass to his son to drink. I was only about nine years old at the time, but I was astounded by what he said. My father continued that parents must be ready to sacrifice everything for the welfare of their children. Many years later, I heard a story that helped me to understand even more profoundly why my father spoke in that way.
My father and his brothers came to the USA in 1908 when they were in their teens. Their mother had sacrificed every penny she had to send them away from Turkey. In 1896, the Turks has perpetrated a massacre of the Armenians organized by the Ottoman Turks under Sultan Hamid. They massacred about 300,000 Armenians in cold blood only because of their ethnic and religious difference from the Muslim Turks. After that horrible experience, it was evident that the Armenians did not have much of a future under Turkish rule. My grandmother realizing the precarious future made a huge sacrifice and sent her boys to America. She was a truly sagacious woman. A few years after her sons were safe in America, the Turks perpetrated the virtual complete annihilation of the Armenian people in Turkey in 1915. My father’s entire family in Malatia, Turkey was wiped out.
Thus, he understood first hand the meaning of parental sacrifice for the well-being of their children. His mother sacrificed everything so that her sons would have a decent and peaceful life in the USA. My brother remembers seeing my Uncle Kevork and sometimes my father cry remembering the sacrifice of their mother.