My father always took care of himself and was a healthy man. So I was shocked when he had a massive heart attack. It was the middle of the night. I had my brother take me to the hospital so I could be near my father.

The doctor was careless and I quickly became frustrated with my father’s care, so I took him to a different hospital the next morning. My father’s happiness and health were everything to me. Everything I did, I consulted him first. The doctors at the new hospital said that my father needed to go to India for better care and someone had to go with him. I volunteered and my brother decided to go with us, too.

Before my father had his heart attack, I had discussed with him my plan to apply for three different scholarships so I could attend school. He though it was a great idea and advised me to definitely apply for them.  He said I should study hard so I would pass the scholarship examinations.  Now, the exams were coming up, but it did not matter to me because my father might be dying.

We waited for several weeks for my father to stabilize before we could travel to India. Being with him was more important to me than the exams. My father did not accept my decision. Eventually he agreed to go to India, but only after I passed my first exam, which was scheduled for the middle of the week that we wanted to fly. I was astonished that he even remembered the exam and that he would not leave until I had taken it. I saw how he was willing to sacrifice his health for me and we talked about it often. He was determined that I would take the exam, no matter what.

I was afraid that if something happened to my father, what would be the value of a scholarship for me? All three exams for my scholarships were scheduled in the same month, but he knew only about the first one. I did not tell him about the other two.

I passed the exam and we went India as planned. His operation went well and while he was sleeping, my brother and I talked. We thought that our father was sleep. I told my brother that I had missed one of my exams because of coming to India, and the next one was the following week. I said I did not know how I was going to be able to take it since I was in India. My father heard us speaking and became very angry with me. He asked me why I didn’t tell him. He became upset and it was affecting his recovery. I told him that I was being given a second chance to calm him down.

He told me to call and find out when I would be taking the exam. I was so surprised!  What could I do, now! He insisted that I should call in front of him. I finally got up the courage to call and I explained the situation to them. They said they would find a solution for me and call me back. This news made him happy and calm.

Two hours later, they called to tell me that I could take the exam at the British Embassy in India on the same date and time that the exam was being given in Kabul. It was unbelievable news! The insistence of my father brought me the lost opportunity.

On the day of the exam, my father went with me and waited until I was finished. He sacrificed to make sure I took the exam, and I sacrificed to make sure he got well.  We did it all for love. Thanks to my father’s love, I passed the exams and thanks to my love for him, he got well.  For me, for his family.

By Fariba

photo by Martin van Asseldon