my sister is amazing.

This was taken from my sister's friend cole's blog. Shirin wrote down this story and experience to share with those that were interested. i was soooo moved by this story that i asked her if she wouldn't mind me putting it up here, on ma' bloggity blig. for those of you that are not Baha'is there are a lot of references to the Baha'i Faith, its leaders [The Bab, etc.] and this is written from her experience working at the Baha'i World Center in Haifa, Israel. if you have any questions for clarification, etc., feel free to field them below, in the comment box & i'll be happy to respond.  so yeah, i asked her and she was cool with it, so here it is [story by shirin | photography by cole]:

My grandfather’s name was Kamran Samimi. I hear he liked to dance. He listened to American jazz singers. He wore extravagant ascots and was tall for a Persian. He knew how to make others feel at home. These are the things I hear of him through others. Stories passed down secondhand. I never knew him firsthand because he was killed by the Iranian government on December 27th, 1981 for being a Baha’i. But I feel him. All the time. I will be out for a walk, with friends, distracted, and suddenly – there he is. With me. I can’t explain it, and at first I would brush it off as something else because we are taught that these things aren’t possible. But gradually I learned to recognize him. He comes to me in dreams every once in a while. Offering solace during tests, quiet hugs during hard times, and once he brought my baby niece to the door of the house that my whole family was in. I didn’t know who she was at the time, but nine months later, I did. 

In my dreams he wears orange. 

I feel him a lot in my sacred place of service – the restoration of the Shrine of the Báb. This particular day was an especially auspicious day for the world. The tiling on the Shrine of the Báb was completed. It was towards the end of the Fast. In my personal life, I was going through an especially painful test. That morning, I said some special prayers, asking for some assistance from my grandfather. I’m not a morning person to begin with and I arrived at work a little grumpy and in my own head, downtrodden by my test – forgetting where I was and how blessed every minute is. These are things we have to do at work – consciously make the effort to remove ourselves from the sacred area we are in so that we aren’t paralyzed by its power and then unable to serve. Sometimes I remove myself a little too much, probably, considering how salty I was being that morning. I was cleaning the recently laid tiles and I made a decision to give my pain away to the Báb so I could serve Him better. Let go of my hurt. Just like that. I trusted fully in His love and gave that pain away. And just like that, it was gone. The test remained but the pain had evaporated. I suddenly felt light. Clearheaded and able to focus on my service. I felt my grandfather close to my heart the rest of the day. 

At the end of the workday, a few hours after the final tiles had been laid, Cole and I made our way away from the Shrine. We were deep in conversation when I looked past Cole’s face and saw the first butterfly of spring land on a pile of fresh soil. I halted our conversation, pointed out the butterfly, and we made our way towards it, thinking it would fly away as we approached. Instead, it began to flutter around us. Right away, I felt my grandfather. I knew he was with me. The butterfly was orange – the same color my grandfather wears in my dreams of him. Every time we thought it had flown away, it would come back and circle around us, playing with us, coming close, and eventually landing on my arm. This continued on for about twenty minutes until it flew away for good, on past the cypress trees and that Blessed Shrine. Circling around with the Concourse. 

I began to see butterflies all around. Appearing the same way feelings of my grandfather does – while minding my own business, entirely distracted by the things of this world, and a Monarch crosses my path. And suddenly I am reminded of that day, my grandfather, the sacrifice he made, and the love that he continues to shower upon me and my loved ones. 
this is my grandfather [and g.mother] in the middle, in the dashing white jacket.
this is my lovely sister - photo by cole
thank you, shirin for your amazing way with words, your big open heart and your eyes in your spirit. 
i love you!


gol said...

such a beautiful post. and what a talented writer your little sister is!


thanks, gol! she is amazing. little sister are the best, right??