"I often watered the spot and talked to her, hoping that she would become alive again, but she never did."
My father was a doctor and a member of the military for years, so we would travel to different cities. I was born in the city of Shahpour in the vicinity of Khoi in Azerbaijan. I was the fourth child in my family that included two sisters and one older brother.
We were in Maragheh in my Kindergarten years, and I remember most of my life related to this period. We had a large house with an adjacent fruit garden. I was the last child, and based on people’s stories, I was cute and sweet. My father used to call me “Ms. Cutlet,” but I don’t know why.
Each one of us children had a tree that belonged to us, and my share was a hazelnut tree with a good deal of shade. I would spread a blanket under the tree and make it my sanctuary. I played there with my dolls and toys for most hours of the day.
One summer day when I came back from Kindergarten, I saw my favorite doll decapitated. In tears, I showed her to my mother, and everyone looked at it with compassion and surprise. Many years later, I found out that my older brother Feridoun, four years my senior, had done the deed because he always wanted to annoy me.
My brother comforted me and told me that my doll was dead, and I needed to bury it. With tears and moaning, we took my doll to the fruit garden and buried her. We placed a stone on the spot and added a stick and a note that read, “Farideh’s Favorite.”
I often watered the spot and talked to her, hoping that she would become alive again, but she never did. It was then that I learned about pain and loss. It was really hard, but soon I forgot about it.