Children of God

Calling them great is an understatement. No, they were far beyond great. They were extraordinary children. They were anything but ordinary. Grandma’s children were too pure, too good, too great, too ambitious, too important to die. On the surface they seemed like ordinary kids who loved to play, who walked on the sandy beach, made faces for the camera, and secretly ate their mother’s hidden pot of blackberry jam. But beneath their sparkling, killer eyes, they were fighters of freedom. They wanted independence and justice. They were too young to die under the hands of the unjust, the unworthy. They were too young to suffer what they suffered. They were too young, too beautiful to die.
I have looked at their black and white photographs. Aunt Mina’s keeps coming back to me, her angelic face, her simple, sincere half-smile in every photo, her short, silky, black hair. A tomboy. Maman says Mina wore slacks at a time when women were expected to wear skirts. At Maman’s wedding Mina had her hair done at the salon and hated it so much that she’d combed it back straight. She was different from other girls. All you have to do is look at her eyes and then you’d know. There is something about those eyes of hers. They sparkle, they talk. Mina’s eyes talk. They tell you that this girl is not ordinary, that she will do great things, that her heart is a pot of gold, big, full of love. That she is a rebel, stubborn, ready for anything.
I am trying to picture that snowy night when the Shah’s secret police-The SAVAK-shot her in the back. I am trying to see Aunt Mina running into the night, struggling to pick up her feet in the snowy field. She runs 100 meters, Grandma says, and then she falls, just 26 years old. Grandma tells me she didn’t cry because Grandpa had prepared her. She says that when they got the news, Grandpa held up his hands in prayer and thanked God that his Mina was killed for a cause, that she hadn’t died in a car accident or from something ordinary. He was proud that his daughter had died a fighter, a martyr.
I ask Grandma how she accepted the death of her children. She says God. I left it all to God and accepted his doings, she says matter-of-factly. I don’t ask her anymore because I start crying, for them, for the pain that Maman and Grandma went and still go through. And I know that I have to tell their story. Somehow, in some way, I have to tell why they were so extraordinary, why they were so invaluable, why they are so missed. I have to tell their story because they deserve to be remembered and known for what they did, for who they were, for what they could have been. Calling them extraordinary is not an overstatement, it’s not just a mother’s love, it’s not her exaggeration and pride, it’s a fact.

2 Comments, RSS

  1. swati December 28, 2006 @ 11:17 pm

    You are the real artist of words!! I love this freewrite. It is more than a freewrite. I don’t know how to explain but when I read this over and over again I can see Mina fighting the police through your words.
    I request you to include some parts of this freewrite in your outline for your book!!
    Again this is really good..keep up the good work!!

  2. Mike S December 27, 2006 @ 10:23 am

    You write that story, and we’ll buy it and read it. I’ve been enjoying your posts. I’m looking forward to you publishing something. Keep posting. We’re enjoying your writing!

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