16 years ago today we lost our Mom after a long fight with cancer.
Our Mom was born & raised in Iran, making her way to the United States in the 1970s. A daughter among 5 children she was the oldest & big sister to all of her siblings.
She was very close to her own mom, our Grandmother, who still travels between here & Iran to see her family.
I tell folks all of the time that I think our Mom was born waaay before her time.
She once wanted to enter the field of medicine but people told her it wasn’t a subject for women; she challenged the status quo in her own way, was independent though still at times insecure.
W/a degree from Iran she could not use, she worked minimum wage jobs — never making much but still giving to others whenever she could. She made wedding dresses for her friends, matching outfits for us, & rarely spent money on herself.
She knew struggle, & was stronger for it.
She was an incredible Mom — I think her favorite part in life was being a Mom. I remember her telling Ida & I how she prayed for a baby girl when pregnant w/us & was thrilled when finding out she would get *two* twin baby girls vs just one.
Not a day would go by where she didn’t tell us how beautiful we were, how smart we were, how important we were. Her commitment to us was foundational to my self confidence growing up.
Even when other kids made fun of me, I knew I was loved.
Watching her get sick was really hard.
I won’t share photos of that because I don’t want people to remember her as being sick. I want you to know that she was strong through all of it.
Multiple surgeries, chemo, radiation, other drugs, tumors, cancer gone, cancer back.
We spent a lot of time in hospitals and I didn’t want to be anywhere else but with her.
During all of this we were also in the process of building & moving into our Mom’s dream home. A modest 4/2, we would each finally have our own bedroom.
She was really excited, and proud.
This was during the housing boom & our new home was delayed.
W/our old home already sold we lived in a motel by UCF for about 3 months.
It sucked and our Mom’s health was deteriorating. Tbh it was good that she was at the hospital during most of this time vs a shitty motel.
She passed away early in the morning.
I held her hand the entire time and fell asleep with my head next to hers.
I couldn’t hear her die, her breathing slow down — it was too hard — I woke up to sobbing in the room.
She was gone.
16 years later & I think about her every second.
Her resilience, her joy, her deep generosity & sacrifice.
My sister says it’s like having a hole in your heart. As you love more your heart feels bigger so the hole feels smaller. But the hole is still there. It’s always there.
Everything I am or hope to be I owe to her. Her death is a constant reminder to honor those who are no longer with us through action, today and everyday.
Love you Mom.