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Nothing never will and ever does, fill for the love of a mother. At least not for me.
4 years ago on this day I got the news that I lost my mother to cancer in Chicago airport. I was traveling back to US from Iran. I don't know if I was flying " home" or I had left " home". I know however that I left a broken heart with all the memories of my childhood back where I grew up. Back, where I was taught how to be humble, how to be patient, how to accept & let go, how to be grateful, how to be kind and how to be an Iranian woman. Where, I was taught how to be a mother by the most amazing of them all. Aghdas Sharif. That was her name. The strong, graceful, soft spoken and sacrificial woman that raised me as a single mom. And loved me like no one else.
4 years later, the pain is still there and so is a memory that lights up my heart with joy. The memory of a United Airlines costumer service staff. The memory of her kindness and unconditional love. See, I was standing in the line, hoping to move my flight to Atlanta earlier. There was chaos. A full flight of Marines and their families was cancelled and the line of helpless people trying to find a solution was outrageous. I stood in the line. Crying. Non stop. Like a lost child. This gentle soul was so busy at her desk she didn't have time to breathe. It was finally my turn. I walked up to her counter. I couldn't talk. Our eyes met for a split of a second. And she took the time. She stayed connected. She asked: " Are you doing ok?" And I burst out sobbing even heavier. " I just lost my mom." She stayed with me in her presence. As if there was only she and I in that humongous airport. As if none of the people in the line existed. As if I was the most important task of her day. She walked around her counter. Came right in front of me. She hugged me. Not like a stranger. Not like a sister. Not like a friend. Like a human being sharing the pain of another. She hugged me and the world around us dissolved in the power of her kindness. She cared.
I wish I could find her. I wish I could let her know the warmth of her act of kindness is still with me. I wish I could tell her I carry her in my heart forever. " you are in my prayers"
How often do we stop to be present with the pain of another? How often do we let the light of kindness shine through our hearts in a random act? How much do we allow this busyness to separate us, take us apart further and further? Too much net working, too little caring.
Perhaps it's time to step out, before it's too late.
One Year Tomorrow
The pain seems much more ancient than a year.
The sorrow much deeper than a lifetime can bear.
The Sun never forgot to shine
And the moon never proposed to resign
Flowers still dance in the breeze
With Butterflies, birds and bees
the phone still rings
And the radio constantly sings;
There’s something missing.
So unbearably loved,
No longer heard, no longer smelt,
No longer seen, no longer felt.
There’s a smile, ever so shy and humble
A voice ever so soft and gentle
A touch that used to heal
A heart that could always feel
A love that never failed.
Like a flag losing its pole,
Or a sea without a shore
like a bird without a nest
Or the mountain missing its crest
One year ago,
I lost Love forever.
“Life goes on”, she would say.
Yes, it goes on
But without you
it’s just a hallow drum
hoping to be heard
praying to be loved
( A poem I wrote two years ago for my mom)