A father is a guiding light

CK on Halloween (Photo provided by Lucine Kasbarian)

By Lucine Kasbarian, Armenian Weekly, 4 May 2023

By deciding to recycle Uncle Garabed’s Notebook in print editions of The Armenian Weekly for one year following his death, Pauline Getzoyan and Leeza Arakelian gifted us regular visits from The Old Man in our first year of mourning. May 5, 2023 would have been his 95th birthday, and this May 8th will mark one year since “C.K. Garabed’s” passing.

The day he departed the earth, CK repeated a favorite quotation from writer Vladimir Nabokov. “Life is such a great surprise. I do not see why death should not be an even greater one.” CK was never short on words to inspire us, comfort us, afflict us and make us think.

Indeed, CK is still with us every day. While it was a relief to know that he would not have to live with the new burdens we Armenians and global citizens are enduring this year, his ubiquitous presence is still immensely felt. Even from above, CK routinely lets us know he’s watching, standing in support, offering his opinion and often guiding our actions if we were to ask ourselves, “in this circumstance, what would CK do?”

If CK were with us now, here are 10 things he would say to keep us keen and sober:

  1. Never regret enjoying your own company in solitude. That’s where creativity blooms.
  2. Kindness is a virtue to be showered on the deserving. Know when it must be withheld.
  3. Work behind the scenes—you get a lot more done and without interference.
  4. When we complain that “everything is going down the drain,” let’s be grateful there still is a drain.
  5. When tyrants will not depart without force, there is a place for vigilantism.
  6. If the people cannot keep their country, they do not deserve to have one.
  7. When Turkey has a population of 83 million and Azerbaijan has a population of 10 million, there is no place for “sex-selective Armenian abortions.” (Armenia has a population of three million.)
  8. The Turkish government succeeded in carrying out the Armenian Genocide with the help of gun confiscation laws. Gun control never prevented criminals from access to weapons. It’s the law-abiding citizens who will pay the price.
  9. The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know.
  10. Dreams don’t die.

Thanks, Hairig. Happy Birthday.

Your daughter

One of CK’s favorite coffee mugs

Lucine Kasbarian is a journalist, political cartoonist and book publicist; she is the author of several books about Armenia and Armenians. Visit her at: www.lucinekasbarian.com
  1. Wonderful and much deserved tribute to Uncle Garabed, a rare talent.
    We Armenian Americans need more writers and activists like him.
    One way to do that is to support Keghart.

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