Why is it that some people are able to suffer adversity without apparent damage to their person, while others fall apart? It’s a question specific to John Avedisian who, despite suffering the death of his mother and father, and the loss of his sister, was able to make something outstanding of his life. I remember lots of old timers in the Fresno Armenian community, my dear grandfather Avedis for one, who were able to do this. How was it that they did not just loose their minds in the face of such loss? It speaks strongly to something deep within, that despite the hurt and anguish, they somehow manage to not just get by, but to flourish.
As the old saying goes, Hope deferred makes the heart grow sick. This must have been a state of mind that John Avedisian had to constantly battle, to not give up on finding his sister Anna. It’s that kind of perseverance, despite the seeming reality, e.g. when Kerkin tells John that there is no hope of finding his sister, that replaces despondency with challenge, and in so doing inspires others, like Kerkin, to see hope in their own lives.
What do do when dreams come to an end? It’s what Kerkin had to face with the loss of his beloved Armenian homeland. I remember as young boy the old time Fresno Armenian men, commiserating very much like Kerkin did. They saw so much loss and so many broken promises. The dream they had of a free Armenian lie in the dust bin of war and genocide. All they could do was to keep the dream deep within themselves, in the dark recesses, hoping that somehow, someway, the dream would again see the light of day.
When life takes a turn for the worse, as in the case of Kerkin loosing his farm, it can lead one inward into a deep abyss. Had it not been for John Avedisian’s near obsession to find his sister Anna, perhaps Kerkin would have fallen so deep that he would not be able to climb out. It’s an example really of how one man’s troubles can be the saving grace for another.