As some of you may know, Im not Iranian by birth but lets say I grew up in Iran. The family that kind of adopted me there became lost to me in the aftermath of the revolution when we, like many families had no choice but flee Iran. The last time I saw them was in Spain in the early 80’s. With me in the UK and them somewhere unknown to me, for my own protection, and we became lost to each other for the best part of nearly 26 years. I had given up hope of ever finding them again and that feeling of loss cast a deep shadow over my life. I was constantly and ever aware that I was missing something and have spent much time trying to track them down all over europe and the US.
I assumed they had changed their name and this was why I was unable to find them. I never quite could accept that I would never find them and remained consummed with the possibility that I might if I kept looking. I never stopped looking in all these years.
You have to understand that my family there took me into their lives without hesitation, prejudice, or any expectations and guided through childhood with unconditional love to becoming a woman. I love them dearly for everything they gave of themselves. My amo was a gentle, kind, patient and wise man, who always had time for me and everyone. Ameh was loving, my guide through life there, I learnt so much from her about everything. My cousins were my friends and companions, teaching me farsi albeit with much hilarity over my mistakes! They gave me the family had I never had and had always dreamed a loving family could be. Hardly a day went by that I didnt see them. I cant describe what they mean to me and I couldnt believe they hadnt been looking for me and my family either.
You may recall I wrote a blog about the Shahs generals … amo was a timsar in the Imperial Army. I hoped somethng might come out of that and Ebi Jaan, you were so very helpful pointing me to military sites, which I trawled through but without much luck.
Last Saturday night, sleepless as I often am, hubbie z’ing the night away, I sat on the net for hours and I finally found a link…. a photo in a zartusti newsletter, of a woman that looked like what I thought ameh would look like 30 years on. I felt inspired and carried delving into the very wee hours. I kept looking at this picture and I knew it was ameh.
I sadly learnt that my amo had died 4 years ago and this was bitter news. But true to his nature he had spent his years in exile, helping others immigrate all over the world, built a zartushti temple and much more. It was just like him and I cried some for the loss of such a great man and that I would never again see him. I hope he knew what he meant to me.
I found more and more info and convinced it was them, I sent an email to who I thought was one of my cousins children on facebook of all places!!!” It has its uses afterall. I explained I a was related and asked them to pass on my contact details to their parents and aunts and uncles and grandmother.
The next day I had an email from my little Shirin who was 10 last time I saw her. She said ‘Im really sorry but I dont remember you’ and I emailed her right back and told her yes you do know me and sent her one of the few pictures I have. Within minutes she wrote back, crying, saying they had searched for all this time for me and had given up hope. They had even kept a jacket I had bought amo 26 years ago. Then the emails came flooding in from my cousins!!! OMG I couldnt stop crying and laughing at the same time. My little Shirin called ameh who was ‘shreiking’ down the phone with excitement. It was a very emotional few hours.
We’re going to get together real soon and I cant wait to be reunited with them. I just cant wait. I want to go now!!!!!! right this minute!! I have some pictures of them now and and its if these last nearly 30 years never existed.
So I say never give up on something you believe in! And the internet is a wonderful place. Im a very happy Javaneh 🙂