Tiny Love Stories: ‘A Truth I Had Tried to Ignore’
When Rizwan was nine years old, his beloved father took him to the doctor.
He had an abnormal mole on his head and wanted to know whether it was cancer or not.
A lot was going on back at home at the time, with a mother who worked two jobs and was raising two young children alone while his father was away in the Gulf for a few months. It was a particularly trying time for Rizwan.
So at the doctor’s office, Rizwan decided to go with the doctor — not to his mother, but to his father.
“My dad told me to go ahead,” Rizwan said. “So I told him, ‘Please, please tell my mom that I have cancer.’ ”
But his father didn’t answer him.
“I felt bad, thinking that he just didn’t want to talk about it,” Rizwan remembered. “And then I said to myself, ‘You know, I guess I better tell my dad.’ ”
So Rizwan said to his father, “Dad, I have cancer.” And his father told him, “I know, but I don’t want you to get cancer.”
So then, Rizwan said, “I cried and I asked him, ‘Dad, why did you tell me to get cancer?’ ”
Rizwan continued to ask his dad, “Why did you tell me to get cancer?”
So, Rizwan said, “My dad would sit down and tell me, ‘I am sorry Rizwan, but there is nothing I can do.’ ”
His father would eventually go home and get a few moments alone with Rizwan. And he finally told his son why he kept him from the doctors.
“You see, there was this big mole on my head and he said, ‘I am sorry, but it is hereditary,’ ” Rizwan recalled.
His father said it was hereditary, but Rizwan didn’t believe him.