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!