My aunt was born in the fifties but she will always remain 29 for me. She came as the third daughter in a very large family and always had the reputation of the quiet, good girl amongst her siblings. She was the first to get married and she traveled far, to California from Iran, even before Los Angeles became "Tehrangeles". Her redheaded daughter is very proud to have been born there!
Their next child was a a son, a Rod Stewart meets Eminem type of guy. Both her kids and her three grandchildren are very fortunate to have her as their matriarch and role model. My memories of Iran, besides those I have with my grand parents, are of good times at her house: I ate my first granola bar there and discovered imported American toys. By the Caspian sea, at her in-laws' house, I cut my hand with a jar of "torchi" (Iranian pickles), and I was rushed to a random clinic in the middle of nowhere. Today, the scar remains a happy testament of those days.
I was seven when she moved to Dubai, and I still remember the two weeks I spent at her home while my parents traveled. I had just gotten my ears pierced the old fashion way, with a needle, and she took gentle care of them, cleaning them with alcohol and finally assisting me with the Minnie Mouse earrings. She taught me how to tie my shoe laces and today, I often think of her, when I perform those simple bows. As for my children, I have suggested some other person teach them so they can always remember them the way I remember my aunt.
We traveled through Europe with her and her lovely family in an orange VW van, which Grateful Dead fans drive today. Austria, Italy and France were disovered for the first time with them!
Her beauty has not altered in all these years and remains memorable. Her face is so flawless, Mashallah, that she was once the model for Oil of Olay.
I thank her for being one of my strongest supporters on this blog because it is in her character, not just to enjoy reading (she was an English major in college), but because her character lends itself to being positive about others.
Today, Dec 6th, is her birthday, a day I never forget in the same way I will never forget how to tie my shoe laces.
Happy Birthday Khaleh Linda!