“Share with me about your mom Haleh and your experience growing up. What do you love and admire about her as a mother.”
“I get emotional even talking about it. It was not only what she said, it was who she was and is. She represents optimism, strength, wisdom and passion for life. Her ability to see the best in every situation and bring out the best in others has always fascinated me. Growing up she instilled high values and a strong sense of self-esteem by treating me with respect and showering me with attentiveness. The confidence she poured into my life provided me the courage to succeed and protected me from going astray. I admire my mom’s wisdom in conflict resolution and being an amazing influencer of her friends and family! Her talent shined through in being a fashion designer and creating one of a kind designs. She is also highly intuitive as if she knows and can feel and read others.
“She was like a Sun giving warmth to those around her. I feel her friendship has been a treasure in my life. What did she do when they moved back to the Middle East?”
“She is amazing. She organized community services to assist in orphanages by providing what the children needed mainly love, necessities and even took them for field trips” She took every course you can imagine to enrich her life and improve herself such as: drawing, calligraphy, swimming, chess (to play more effectively with her grandkids) and Quran. Her love for the Quran actually got her to organize lessons for the ladies in the building where they completed reading the entire Quran during Ramadan which most of the ladies had never done before. She was a true role model for all her family and friend.
“Yes, she was always an active member of the community as I remember. She has a heart of gold. I also remember her passion for poetry. I have a few of her poetries in her beautiful writing. Her writing is like calligraphy. “
Her passion for learning is so inspiring. Yes, she wrote many poems about family, her grandchildren and one for our wedding which we cherish!
“She is a gifted, talented person with unique abilities. Do you know how and when she got married?”
“I think she was about 18 years old, had just finished high school. A friend of the family had introduced my father to her family. My mother had deep appreciation for beauty, love of color, fashion, dressing up and had a great sense of style. When my father arrived to her home to meet her for the first time, she noticed he had a mustard color elegant suit with a tie and handkerchief made of silk with his initial AB on it. His shoes were polished and he simply looked handsome like Rock Hudson.”
“Yes, your mom always looked her best, yet what I loved about her was her positive energy and her radiant smile. When did they decide to migrate to the U.S?”
“As you know my maternal uncle Salah is a pediatrician for over 40 years was living in Maryland. He had invited our family to come and filed for residency on our behalf in 1979. I was about seven years old and my sister was about 10 years old.”
“It must have been pretty challenging to come with two children and start a new life.”
“Yes my parents worked really hard. My mom grew up being much pampered. She was born after five boys and she was the flower in the family. When she got married, she entered the family of my father who was the first born of eleven children. He had lost his father and had much responsibility on his shoulder. He was the head of the family. One can imagine the dynamics of a large family. My mother with her love, support, wisdom and natural diplomatic skills won their hearts. She kept her boundaries, didn’t get involved with the drama and loved them all. Her sister in laws adored her.”
“Culturally, mother and sister in laws are perceived as symbols of interference. It shows your mother at such young age was such as advanced soul with good common sense, love and compassion. She is one in a million. What did she do when the family came to the U.S?
“She was taking care of us, and all the responsibility of being a home maker. As soon as she could, she started her own business in fashion design, a highly competitive field. She had a unique taste, a different flavor in fashion which led her to become an entrepreneur.”
“Yes, when we came to Houston with three young children, your mom helped me so much. You know she is organized, disciplined, observe excellence in whatever she does and has high expectations of self. I am basically impaired when it comes to domestic matters. I was too tired with three young children ages five, three and one year old. She would lovingly, patiently help me with my family, taking care of the children. She would take us for outings, serving delicious meals and giving hair cut to our children. Now that our children have families of their own, they still remember her love, goodies and the haircuts. I am eternally grateful to her love when I needed help desperately.”
“That’s so sweet that you all have fond memories of her! She loved you very much! Yes, you know my mom would do anything she could for her friends. She seemed to have an endless energy. I don’t know how she did it.”
“I think she was a very intuitive person. She had the unique ability to read people. I wonder if she got her intuition from her mother.”
“Yes, her intuition amazed me and all of my friends. When a friend would come to visit, she would take a look at her and ask, how is your son? or about a specific person or situation. My friends would think that perhaps I had shared about her with my mother. I had to make it clear that I had never shared anything. Then, they would open up to her like a mother and ask for guidance. My grandmother was also very intuitive and wise!”
“When was your mom diagnosed with Parkinson?”
“About ten years ago. You know she had always been a highly active, creative and energetic person. She started slowing down with her movements, decline in her activities in the past six years. However, in the past two years her symptoms are more like ALS.”
“How is your mom doing right now?”
“She has declined much. She is paralyzed, unable to move or speak, and swallowing is challenging. She can only communicate with blinking her eyes.”
“It is really hard for me to imagine that. In my mind I see her as the vibrant woman, full of joi la vie, joy of life with deep passion. She is always smiling in my mind.”
“Yes, the situation is challenging for any human being, yet for a woman so positive, seeing beauty in everyone and everything, wishing to be of service, has impacted her on a much deeper level.”
“When was the last time you visited her and how was she doing?”
“I visited her a couple of months ago. I was simply amazed by her deep love. Her thoughtfulness and generosity is amazing. Most people would be self-absorbed in self-pity complaining and whining all the time. Not my mom! She devotes herself to making others happy even when she is completely debilitated. She would have her caretakers do special acts of kindness for each person that visited. I felt so deeply loved and touched by her expression of her love. She always made me feel loved growing up.”
“What do you think is helping her cope now with life?”
“Her faith, optimism and acceptance. She is the queen of optimism.”
“You are blessed to have mother like her. Emotionally I can’t even imagine how you feel, yet I know your faith plays a significant role in accepting our life lessons. We are not our bodies. Her energy, her legacy is in her children, grandchildren and all those who had the honor of knowing her.”