Today, one of the sweetest, most caring, selfless and at times craziest women in my life is celebrating another beautiful year spent on this earth.
Every year I usually celebrate it by giving her a quick call, wishing her a happy birthday and then going on with my day, probably planning what I will be doing for my birthday since it is so soon after. What is a young broke college kid to do?
I rarely buy her anything. Not that she cares; she doesn’t have much use for material possessions. But I still feel bad about not having anything to show as gratitude for all the work she does to keep me alive and happy.
The other day I gave her a call and asked her what she would like for her birthday. She told me that the only thing that she would like for her birthday is a phone call and for me to keep doing what I enjoy doing. She told me to keep blogging because she loves reading what I write.
Now I don’t ever write letters, I don’t fill out cards. I prefer to just buy small gifts and then awkwardly express how I feel in person. But that never goes too well. How I express my gratitude to people in person is equivalent to an Asian father telling his son that he did ‘OK’ after he got an A+ in advanced chemistry.
I figured why not take a moment of my time (and this week’s blog post) to show some gratitude to this beautiful woman, Yafa Salim Hassid.
So to the woman who….
To the woman who 8 years after her second child, “decided” to have another baby, and put up with my lazy fetus ass for 9 months. (Side note: my dad has almost certainly confirmed that my conception was an accident. HAHA! Surpriseeeeeeeee)
To the woman who busts her butt everyday at full time jobs only to come home later to make a full meal and wash the dishes most nights when everyone else is being lazy. To the woman who is able to almost single-handedly create a full feast fit for kings every friday night despite her busy schedule.
To the woman who raised my family in a household that only ate wholesome and organic foods that were made with so much love. I appreciate it now but I sure as hell didn’t when I was younger. Young Mahyar would find any excuse to go to friends’ houses to snack on Dunkaroos and Kool-Aid.
To the woman that promised a life of gang fighting and drugs when I would do poorly on middle school exams. To the woman who almost kicked my ass when she found the sexually explicit lyrics to “Yeah” by Usher hand written on a piece of paper hidden in a cabinet in my room. (I can’t imagine her horror as she saw her 13 year old son quote Ludacris; saying he wanted a “lady in the street, but a freak in the bed“.)
To the woman who day by day, puts a smile on and works as hard as she possibly can at her job even when everything looks bleak. To the woman who inspires me with the way she never quits and always treats the people she works with with such care.
To the woman who has the most inspiring stories ranging from being one of the best damn secretaries for the Korean Ambassador to Iran to raising a pair of jewish kids in the midst of an Islamic Republic.
To the woman who would sooner starve and freeze an icy death than to have a guest in her home that wasn’t fully taken care of.
To the woman (along with the man) who showed my siblings and I what it means to be unconditionally loved, even when we (and by we, I mostly mean I) don’t return the same patience and love that is shown to us.
I’d like to end by saying Happy Birthday and I love you Mom. May you understand how grateful we are for you and may we be able to express and reciprocate even a fraction of the love that you have shown us.