Monday, December 20, 2010


In January of this year, my father was admitted to Newton Wellesley Hospital for observation.  The woman who had been assigned to night sit was Haitian and unusually distant. She courteously nodded to Tatoul and me when we entered the room.

As Dad and Tatoul and I proceeded in our typical fashion to joke and laugh about life, she listened.  Are you Armenian? she asked at last. Yes, we answered.  Oh, she said.       I . . . I used to care for a woman who lived on Coolidge Hill Road in Watertown . . . She was Armenian . . . Her name was Mrs.  . . . . . ian.  My dad responded with certainty,  I knew her! surprising all of us.  He went on.  She lived at  number  . . . Coolidge Hill Road.  That's right, the woman replied, astounded.  I was engaged to her son, she whispered, but we never could marry . . . She stood up, walked over to my dad and hugged him, turned to Tatoul, and then to me, and embraced us.  From that moment on, we were khnamis.

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