Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I have a friend at the YMCA where I swim several times a week. She’s a 79-year old Persian lady who swims laps bedside me most days. It was a landmark for me about a year ago when I could match her lap-for-lap.
Conversation is usually sparse as her English is limited and my Farsi is non-existent. Mostly she practices the niceties like, “Have a good weekend.”
Yesterday, though, she had a lot to say and struggled to tell me. “Very, very bad in Iran”, she kept saying. She told me about her family there, the protests... but most of all she wanted me to know about Neda.
She wanted me to say the name–– she helped me pronounce it. “Just a girl. They killed her. Nothing. For nothing.” She wanted me to remember.
She made me say it again. Neda. Neda.
I promise. I won’t forget.