My father called me from the Mayo Clinic, the doctors told him he had “3- weeks to live”. Would I come home to care for him?
I put my things in storage, said goodbye to my wife and children, left Cincinnati (my adopted home of 25 years) and headed north to Flint Michigan.
My parents were still living in the house along the Flint River that has been home to 4 generations of Wardas. Most of my hometown was gone, replaced by an unrecognizable post-industrial wasteland. My family still gathered to eat many of the same foods our ancestors have been making for thousands of years. During their first 100 years in the New World many of the dishes from the old world have been adapted to include regional ingredients, modern methods of preparation, and the mixing of the two cultures.
We retold the family fables passed on by the first immigrants and shared the stories of the generations that followed.
Like the 3-hour cruise in ‘Gilligan’s Island’ the “3-weeks” lasted 3-years. While I was there I photographed the ruins of a once booming city and rich culture.
My Assyrian family, who traveled from old world and helped build a new world, were now witnessing the end of both.