This I Believe

Mohammad - Indianapolis, Indiana
Entered on May 30, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: change, purpose

I’m not sure how many people can point to an exact moment in time and say that that moment changed their lives forever. Mine was on a fall afternoon around Oct 14th, 1978, in Teheran. I lost my right eye that day. A kid at my school threw a rock in my direction which hit my right eye and I’ve been blind in one eye since. It was the worst day of my life; for a 12 year-old it was the end of the world. With a great deal of borrowed money and support from friends and family, my father and I left Iran for Germany to seek treatment. While still in Germany, the Islamic Revolution in Iran took place and changed that country in ways that few people could have imagined. Somewhere in that turmoil my father was tried and sentenced to death in absentia, because of a government job that he had held before his retirement two years prior. So we remained in Germany. My mother and sisters joined us over the next few months. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1981 and eventually succumbed to the disease in 1983. My oldest sister met a young man from the US, fell in love, married and moved to Minnesota. For reasons that I didn’t understand at the time, in 1984 my father decided that I would be better off living in the States than to remain in Germany, even though this meant that he would be all alone. I moved to Minnesota in June 1984. On May 5, 1985 I had the last of nine eye surgeries. My right eye was removed and replaced with prosthesis. I attended the University of Minnesota and received a degree in chemistry. I got a job offer with a company in Indianapolis and moved there in September 1990. I met my wife the day before Thanksgiving 1991. She was brilliant, determined and beautiful. I was sworn in as an American Citizen in February 1993. We were married in June 1994. With her came two wonderful children: One who is as kind and brilliant as she is beautiful, and one, whose intellect and quest to always fearlessly be himself never seize to amaze me. I continue working at a job that I love. I live a relatively stress free life and enjoy the company of wonderful friends. I have lived here for 22 years and without question this is home. My life, undoubtedly would have been very different today, had I lived in Iran for the last 22 years, which makes me think that maybe that fall afternoon around Oct 14th, 1978, in Teheran was the best day of my life. I’ve come to believe that the difference between the worst and the best day of one’s life may just be a matter of perspective and interpretation.