We were all students from different university faculties who rode the yellow greenish bus. Some were in the faculty of science, some in journalism, and a few from the medical school. Sahar was in the faculty of medicine and first in her class. She was as an intelligent a girl as I have ever known. She was always well dressed and organized and I often wondered who could be behind her success and talents.
It was her final year and I knew she was studying very hard because it was exam time and she was very worried about chemistry. One day before her examination, she told me, “I am not worried any more. Mom will help me study my lessons well.” From this, I understood that behind her success were the hands of her mother.
The next day I saw Sahar and asked her about the examination. There was a deep sorrow and surprise in her eyes and her innocent face as she told me, “Norwan, the exam was nice, as always, but I am going to tell you something, something that didn’t let me sleep last night, something that I am scared of and can’t believe.”
I asked her to tell me the story and she began like this:
“From my childhood and afterwards when I went to school, my mom was my teacher. I studied at school, and at home she asked me for my homework and she helped me do my best. With every difficult subject, she gave me power to continue studying. On my exam nights she cooked delicious food for me and on exam days she kissed my face and prayed for my success.”
“It was the same until last night.” Sahar looked at the ground and a drop of tear came from her brownish eyes. “Last night I couldn’t solve a formula from my lessons and I went to ask Mom. I showed her the question, but she didn’t reply. I said, ‘Mom, I can’t solve this question.” Mom looked kindly into my eyes, kissed my face, and with a low but kind voice, she told me, “My daughter, I am not educated. I have never gone to school. I was fourteen years old when I got married and I was fifteen when you were born.”
Sarah asked me, “How was it possible that she was not educated, but she was the key to my success and power—to my knowledge and the light of my way?”
“Dear friend, your mom is a lesson for us,” I told her. “Although she was not educated, she knew how to guide you in your education, and she knew how to be a good leader and a kind mother.”
Once when my own teacher was talking about his personal life, he told us that he was proud to say that he had lived with his wife for forty years and he lived with love, and love, and love. He told us that he was proud to say he never said a wrong word to hurt her beautiful heart. He said his wife was sick now, and for six years he did his best to heal her. She suffered from shortness of breath and when she couldn’t breathe, he said he listened for her breathing. “I wish I was the best medicine and could heal her just once,” he said.
I remember my own father, and how on the 8th of March there were many bags in his hands, and he hid flowers. He thought about the best gifts for my mother and he tried to buy all of them on one day: the 8th of March.
I remember his words, “Congratulations! It is your day and I have some flowers. They smell good, but I think the smell of flowers is always in my house and that is because of you! Thank you for every happiness you give me and my family.”
Now I remember my husband when he helps me in all aspects of my life, especially my writing. Every day when he comes home, his first question is, “Norwan, what did you write today?”
I remember his gift to me last year. Do you know what it was? Something wrapped in a nice red heart. It was a pen—but more than that. It was strength and inspiration.
When I remember my teacher’s words toward his wife, my dad’s kindness, my husband’s encouraging gifts, and Sahar’s mom’s efforts to stand behind her success, I breathe deeply.
There is no need to open the window and inhale the fresh air. I can relax and feel happy. I look at the sky and say to God, “Hey, God, my friend. Why are such nice people not more than one or two or three in this world? Why does no one write about them?”
Suddenly I jumped up for my pen. Where is my pen? Where is my pen? I am going to write about them.