My Grandmother is a Gangster… a Spiritual Gangster by Valentina Khan

My grandmother is a gangster… a spiritual gangster

I recently attended a funeral for a relative-in-law. The grassy patch at the cemetery was filled with many familiar faces as well as unfamiliar. My side of the family was asked to come. My father, mother and even teeny tiny little 4 foot 9 grandmother showed up. I emphasize her height because it has nothing to do with her stature… and this is where my story begins.

My grandmother aka “Mama Shamsey” is from my maternal side. She grew up in Tehran, Iran. She was a young bride to a handsome intellectual who was French educated but a deeply spiritual and passionately religious Iranian Shia Muslim. He truly believed people should never discuss politics or religion. He knew how to be open and compassionate with people of differing opinions than his. They married, had 5 children, my mother was the eldest. When she was just entering her tender teenage years, many of her peers were flocking to Europe to be educated in Germany or France. She however had the dream of going to school in America, so in the 70’s this family of 7 made the great migration over to America.

Continue reading “My Grandmother is a Gangster… a Spiritual Gangster by Valentina Khan”

We Don’t Need Armed Guards, We Need Grandmas by Karen Moon

(Written the day after the Parkland high school, Florida shooting.)

Last night, my husband and I went outside to our driveway to sit in the car and have a beer.  Those of you with lots of children will understand that sometimes you just do not have the time, energy or funds for babysitting, but at least we have some uninterrupted time to talk to each other. Our youngest is six years old, so the older ones can easily watch her for twenty minutes.  We are not leaving toddlers to fend for themselves.  And it is cold out.  That is why we are in the car.

Only last night, there was no ‘unwinding’ going on. Somehow, we started speaking about the Parkland, Florida high school gun shooting, and his voice became raised.

He calls it ‘Meditarranean’ and ‘passionate’; I call it an ineffective way of communicating.  I would like to say that I replied calmly. But I did not. He had me, and my voice became raised in response.

Continue reading “We Don’t Need Armed Guards, We Need Grandmas by Karen Moon”

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