Sunday, October 29, 2006

I Found Maryam!!

If you don't know the meaning of the title, please go to the blog-before-last and read my memories about my high school friend, Maryam Aliabadi. I decided to try to find her through the amazing power of the internet.

I Googled her name and, lo and behold, there were many listings for people with that last name. All of them had some connection with Iran. Believe it or not, there was an obituary for a man in Minnesota named Ahmad Aliabadi, who had died at age 94 in March. His daughters were listed as Maryam and Ellie, with their husbands' names as well. I then Googled "Minnesota Phone Book" and found both Maryam and her mother listed in the Minneapolis area. I was so excited!

I was able to reach Maryam on Saturday. Understand that it's been 44 years since we rode the bus together to school, and it was only for that one year, our sophomore year in a large school in the St. Paul area. Maryam went on to graduate from that school when I moved to Nebraska. I doubt that she ever thought of me again. But in the way of my mind, I began thinking of her and wondering about her life. As I mentioned, I was sure her father had been killed in the blood bath following the banishment of the Shah from his country. When I asked her about that, she told me her father had gone to India to visit her younger brother just at that time, and his life was spared. What a miracle.

Maryam went to college in Minnesota for undergrad, then went to grad school in Iowa. That is where she met her husband, who was also Iranian. They went back to Iran for 25 years, where she taught at the university. She was kicked out and brought back so many times, because of her father's politics, that they got very tired of it and about 5 years ago went back to Minnesota. She became a citizen 4 years ago, and her husband is still trying to accomplish that goal. They have only one child, who was born when she was 41. She couldn't believe I was a grandma 3 times. I couldn't believe she wasn't!

What a delightful visit we had on the phone. She began to remember more and more of that year as we talked. We didn't get into anything spiritual, but I pray that we can at some point.

So - now I have so many reasons to go to Minnesota this summer. Of course, my roots are there and I still have some family living there. My cousin and her husband will be coming home on furlough from their mission work in Mali this summer and we plan to visit her. I now want to go visit Maryam.

Several years ago, after reading a Good Housekeeping article about reconnecting with old friends, I found my best friend from grade school in International Falls, Minnesota. Her name is Mary and I found her mom living in the same house as always, these many years later. She gave me Mary's phone number and we've kept in touch at Christmas time ever since. She lives in the Twin Cities area as well. Turns out she had read the same article and was thinking of me as well.

Then of course, there's Diane, Partners in Prayer for our Prodigals, who has become a dear friend through this wonderful medium. I need about 3 weeks to see all my old and new friends and my family members up there this summer!

It's been a good week-end, culminating with a hymn sing at our church tonight. What a blessing. I wish for all of you a wonderful new week. Did you enjoy gaining that hour last night? I sure did!

16 comments:

kpjara said...

Loved the extra hour and love this post! How wonderful to reconnect with a pleasant past memory and friend!

God is definitely stirring something and you are probably a conduit for that.

Pamela said...

Dawn, this is just an amazing story. How incredible that you were able to find Miriam! Especially with her married for years. I didn't even realize you could google the Minnesota phone book or any phone book. Seems to almost have a spiritual hand in this.Can't wait to see where it leads!

Blogger has not let me on nor let me post. I hope it will let me post for tomorrow. Loved the extra hour! :)

Morning Glory said...

Wow, it's amazing you found her!!

Sue said...

It was truly meant to be for you to reconnect with her. I bet you had a wonderful time catching up!
:-)

Barb said...

After the busy week I had I really did appreciate the extra hour today. But it took me until about noon to realize I HAD an extra hour. :-) I stayed up way too late messing with blogger last night.

How fun to find your friend. It is amazing, the Internet, isn't it? I'll bet you two can't wait to see each other again.

Lee-ann said...

what a wonderful! wonderful! story and I am so pleased to have read it and that you shared it with us, friends are so important in one's life. forever and ever.

have a lovely week.
Lee-ann

Maggie Ann said...

That is amazing that you found Maryam! And remarkable that you found her by way of the internet..and seemingly so easy. And that she remembered you and told you so much about her life. I will pray that God will help you to share spiritial truth with her by & by and that she will be receptive to the Gospel. How exciting...and it all started from that magazine article in G.H. Wow! About the extra hour of sleep...I messed up...couldn't sleep well and went through the day groggy I'm afraid..smile. Doesn't it figure...grin. Hope you have a pleasant day...its going to warm up here and I've painting to do..not a lot and some weeding.

Lala's world said...

I loved the extra sleep and love this time change...the spring one leaves me reeling for a while!
that is so neat that you found her! what a great thing to do...makes me wonder...hmmmmm who I should contact?!

Nikkie said...

That is just that you were able to reconnect with an old friend. I just love the internet!

Linda said...

I loved the extra hour. I could use one every day - but I think that might mess things up a bit :-)
I think it's wonderful that you've reconnected with old friends. I admire those friendships that have lasted for years and years, but when we do lose touch it is so nice to get back together. I know you'll have a great visit this summer.

PEA said...

Oh Dawn how absolutely wonderful that you found her again!!! It's amazing what we can search up on the internet and who we can find again! I do hope you get a chance to meet her in person again, wonder if she still looks like she did when you last saw her...well I know she'll be older but you know what I mean! lol I do remember reading that article in Good Housekeeping too a few years back!!

Sherry said...

How fun to find her!

Grafted Branch said...

What a fun post to read! She was no doubt excited to hear from you.

Maine Mom said...

That is exciting that you found Maryam! Isn't the internet wonderful? I certainly enjoyed the extra hour of sleep Sunday morning, even my children slept longer :-)

Kathleen Marie said...

This is so wonderful! I am so happy for you and know that I am praying for Maryam.

I reconnected with a couple friends in NE a few years before I moved to the Black Hills. We keep in touch through email and got together a few times before I moved up here. It is awesome and God is so good to open that door for you!

Danielle said...

Hello Dawn - this is an inspiring story. Let's praise God today that the Internet is also a GOOD thing! : ) I tried to connect with someone from my past recently and am waiting to see if I hear back. Please pray for me. I hope the outcome of my googling experience is just as grand!