Recently I was blessed with the news that my mother was coming to visit me. I hadn't seen her for almost 2 and a half years. I couldn't Wait any longer the anticipation was killing me. You all know her as ELAHE, well at least anyone who grew up in Iran does, I know her as mom or maman.
When I tell people who she is, the first reply is “oh, Elahe she's an icon, I remember her from when I was a little girl…” an so on”. And usually I'm thinking (lady you've got to be at least 20 or 30 years older than my mom!), then I had to remember that my mom has been singing for 40 years and I'm 32 and still her little baby boy, so it all makes sense again.
Her usual visits consist of a plane ticket good for 30 days that she changes after about 2 weeks to leave ASAP, once she gives me my ear full of directives and stomach full of Persian food and bon voyage. Another year goes by and we do it all over again. You see, my mom is an old school Iranian and me… well I'm from her womb. And we never really could quite understand each other.
This time though it was different, there was no SILENCE between us. When she came out through immigration in Miami I looked at her and immediately started to cry,and anybody that knows me will tell you that's not very common for me, I was so happy to see her. I had really missed her, alot. When I went to hug her she bopped me over the head and reminded me that I'm a man and shouldn't be crying. It was all very amusing. I knew that this trip was going to be different.
I've always ranted on and on about how our destiny was stolen from us and how we should all be in Iran living very large and blah blah blah. My mom who lost the most never felt that way. Come to think of it she never left. I remember when we landed at Heathrow in 1979 my mom looked at my dad and said, “don't worry we'll be back soon.”Well 27 years later, I was a little upset. However this time, whether because I'm a little older now I listened to her words and I couldn't be mad anymore.
My mom is the biggest “VATAN PARAST” I've ever met in my life. And she came here with no English and raised her family and didn't bitch about a thing. She gave up her wonderful Iran in exchange for the wonderful music she has given us all for so long. I couldn't realize this until I read her fan mail. Hundreds of people who wrote to her telling stories of how her music affected their lives. I was ashamed that I ever complained about anything, this woman was really revered.
So I just spent the best 30 days of my life listening to the most wonderful person I've ever met in my life, my mom. She told me stories that I had heard before but this time they made sense and where as good as the first time I heard them. I tried to read excerpts from Siamack Baniameri's “The Iranican dream” (great book! All 30 something Iranian men should read it, but the humor got lost a little in translation considering my Farsi is like a 12 year old's,) so that we could bond. And I listened to her politics and our history. And who we really are!
Believe it or not my mom has always been true to her values and gone out of her way to do the right thing, for all. I've shared her with you all my life and I hope to share her another 50years. Whether your mom is a famous singer or just a house wife remember they have done everything they can to raise us right. We can all take a time out and thank them. Mom, I wrote this letter so that people realize you're more than just that lady they remember as a kid, you are amazing, THANK YOU!