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I and thou
On the demise of my mother, the late Batool (Amir) Mazaheri

March 5, 2002
The Iranian

My Late mother used to say: "Tabrik-e eido baayad goft, hattaa ageh Ordibehesht baasheh." In English it means: "Noruz [Persian/Iranian New Year celebrations] greetings should be expressed, even if it is [as late as] Ordibehesht." Ordibehesht or Taurus, is the second sign of the Zodiac and also the second month of the Iranian solar calendar.

The formal New Year celebrations are held the first 13 days of the Iranian year's first month, namely Farvardin or Aries, which happens to be the first month of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and I am sure most of you know that Noruz begins at the exact moment of the Spring equinox. In other words, proper things need to get done, even if it is late.

I want to take this opportunity and express my advance Noruz greetings to all, even though my heart is heavy due to reasons I will talk about later in this personal essay. Noruzetaan mobaarak!

Again, I am sure most of you know that the Noruz and the upcoming Iranian solar New Year, 1381, begins Wednesday March 20, 2002 at 2:16 p.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time (11:16 a.m. PST). The United Nations celebrates "Earth Day" on the first day of our Noruz. May good traditions last.

Going back to the notion doing the proper thing -- even if it is late -- I want to express, now, here on the internet, my heartfelt sincere thanks for the care and sympathy my family and I were blessed with when my mother passed away recently .

An example of this caring was a simple, yet profound, letter that appeared in's letters section in November 2001, entitled: "Ease the loss". As some of you may know, my mother, the late Batool (Amir) Mazaheri, returned to the bosom of the Creator on Nov. 7, 2001, in Tehran following a long battle with stroke and heart disease.

As the youngest child, I rushed to Tehran with the first possible flight from Tucson, Arizona,, 36 hours after I received the sad news. She was 75 at the time of her departure from our dimension. She is survived by her 25 children and grandchildren and her four brothers and one remaining sister -- and their families.

Besides being our mother and grandmother, she was the elder of our very large extended family. Per her wish and as expressed in one of her poems below, she was buried in our family mausoleum in the same grave whose cold arms had received my father, the late Mohammad Hossein Aghamohammadi, 33-years ago, in Natanz, the town of their birth.

My mother was interested in and emulated Baba Taher's poetry. She had written a short poem for my father 37 years ago, when my family went on a vacation to Mahallat hot springs. I remember this vacation quite fondly; the mountains, the very hot water (to my 6-year-old body), playing with mud, etc...

My father had suffered a heart attack a few months earlier (he died 4 years later) and the anxiety of mortality had cast its dark shadow on our family. This vacation was to ease our fear. My mother had written the following poem for my father in Baba Taher's style, to express how she felt:

Sar-e kooh-e boland, man baasham-o tow.
Boloor-e Barfetaan, man baasham-o tow.
Hamoon saa'at keh dar goorom gozaaran,
miyoon-e yek kafan, man baasham-o tow.

On top of the tall mountain [of tested love], is I and thou.
Crystal of Barfetan [purest], is [the love] of I and thou.
The moment they lower me into my grave,
wrapped in the same shroud, will be I and thou.

Amazon Honor SystemAt my father's burial she had recited this poem and had asked to be buried in the same grave, if appropriate. The custom is that 30 years has to pass before the same grave can be used for a fresh burial. She passed away 33 years after my father departed. We put a fresh stone on their common tomb, and in spite of my family's protest, I saved my father's old "bachelorhood" gravestone.

As many said at my mother's burial ceremony, the "old lovers were at last re-united." Appropriate customary memorials and ceremonies were held to commemorate her passing in Natanz, Tehran, and Northern California.

One of the things that made our grief easier to endure was the overwhelming outpouring of sympathy, love and care, by members of our extended family, friends, coworkers, students, university departments, organizations, and other community members, from many places in Iran and around the world, including my immediate community members and organizations here in Tucson. We were simply overwhelmed.

The expressions and messages of prayer, sympathy and affection came in person, and via phone, e-mail, fax, cards, letters, gifts, flowers, and through published messages of condolence in newspapers, community and organizational newsletters and group emails, and via the internet. My family and I were truly humbled to learn that we even had many friends around the planet that we did not know. We will cherish such blessings forever.

As for those Arizona-based persons, families and organizations who blessed the soul of my mother and the rest of us with their affections and sympathy, I want to ask their forgiveness for my inability to respond personally to each and every expression and message of caring -- due to my having to rush back home and due to my 2-month-long stay in Iran.

In keeping with my mother's wishes (and my own preference), I chose not to hold yet another memorial for her, here in Tucson, and instead I donated the expenses for such a ceremony to charities dedicated to serve the truly needy in Natanz. I think if more of us devote to charity some of the expense that we customarily spend to memorialize our deceased relatives, their soul will be happier.

To all those who read these words, especially on the internet, from the bottom of my heart: May the soul of your departed loved-ones be blessed, and may your lives be healthy and happy. Please accept my most humble and sincere thanks. Let us spread as much good as we can, while we have time, on this very fragile planet of ours.

Mojtaba Aghamohammadi (Moji Agha)
On behalf of Aghamohammadi, Amirmazaheri and other related families

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