My grandmother left this world. She was a strong, golden-hearted, highly-skilled and creative person among many other amazing things. She was a multi disciplinary professional craftswoman, an expert in carpet weaving, preparing very difficult food, had an appreciation for fresh food, fresh bread and herbs, loved nature, and was very independent even to her last day on Earth. When she passed away, her house was found in immaculate condition and her fridge was fully stocked, she had her full dignity to 84.
The other day someone asked me how I became the way I am, I didn’t realize it at the time, but now I know it must have been because I was greatly influenced by her as a seamstress, maker, gardener, environmentalist and independent hard working woman. And maybe I got some of her outspokenness from her. She once told me a story how she went to a park she always walks to and saw a guy littering. She asked him, “Excuse me, you came to this park because you liked it? Okay then why are you littering?”. She was much more polite than me, because I would have made a scene and added a lot of profanity. My aunt told me they would go volunteering to pick up the trash at the parks.
She could have lived so many more years. I get sadder the more I think about it. I never thought I could be so emotional. She was so nice to me and so many others despite all the hardships she endured.
Raising six kids by herself, having to work multiple jobs, at a hotel, cutting hair, carpet weaving and much more. Loving her children unconditionally and taking care of her old mother even though she was abandoned by her when she was a kid.
I was only privileged enough to have seen her five times in my life, but I still feel like an innocent part of me died.
6 years old.
She came to visit us when I was six. I remember the big luggage she brought with her full of gifts and the unique fragrance it all had. I remember how difficult it was to have her visit us in Canada, the paperwork, the visa, the letters to the MP, the money. She was determined to come and see her grandchildren. I remember her hugs when she first saw us at the airport.
I remember the frog we caught. I remember her advice when I had my first loose tooth. She helped me untangle thread. She cured my dry eyes with tea. She was never one to sit around and watch tv like the other old people I knew. She was always doing something. Even when she was over, she was weaving carpets. I remember the elaborate cooking and baking bread. She went out for walks everyday.
9 years old.
She connected with my bird Mojo, who would sit on her shoulder. When she returned to Iran, she was inspired to buy a bird as well named Mitu. I remember the red coat she got here during a Canadian winter. I remember she went out for walks. I remember we walked to the grocery store together and I was the translator every time someone talked to us. One time, she went out on a walk on her own, and was gone for hours. We couldn’t find her and how scared I was.
I remember that it somehow led to heart problems and she was taken to the hospital. The trip was too much for her. I remember going to the hospital and the cheap food they had, jello and something else. And how her neighbour had a TV, but she didn’t because it cost extra. (anyway, she wouldn’t have understood the tv.)
I remember her coming with me skating and how I laughed at someone for being fat and she told me it was wrong.
I remember each time she left, she would cry because she thought it was the last time she would see us.
18 years old
This time she came to Canada with my aunt (her daughter) for support. We went to Niagara falls. I remember how she appreciated that I was working and going to school. None of my female cousins worked at the time.
24 years old
I visited Iran in her house, and I saw that she kept the toys from when I was 6 behind a display case. My cousins told me that she wouldn’t let them play with it when they were kids. It stayed put behind glass.
28 years old
A lot of way out of the way for her to come to St. Vincent and the Grenadines for my bro’s wedding. There was visa issues because I don’t think anyone from Iran ever visited St. Vincent and the Grenadines in its entire history. I was nervous the whole time about her survival there with all the wedding commotion, especially during the boat rides. She had heart problems.
I should have called her but didn’t because I had a stupid thing against phones.
I could have seen her more, I had the money and time, but the stupid politics of Canada, USA & Iran made it seem like each trip was a dangerous risk of going to jail.
I wanted to dedicate time there to learn how to make carpets, and all the other crafts. I wanted to show her my sewing and my gardening skills. Tale as old as time, value your family members, spend time with them!