Angel Passing By: Mirjam Wobmann: July 2012

Mirjam at her home

This week, one morning, I received a simple text from Wasima, “Mirjam is No More”. I stared at the text for a while, put the cell phone away and went about doing whatever I was doing; but I don’t remember what I was doing. I just wanted to not believe, in the news.

It’s easier not to acknowledge the news you don’t care for.

This morning, Daiyaan sent me a text at 12:30 am, “ I am looking at old pictures of Mirjam and literally sobbing”. On this cloudy, rainy Sunday, Daiyaan shows me a collage she has made of her memories of “Mirjam Nanu”; my heart stops beating for a second.

Mirjam and Daiyaan in Paros 2004

My teenager was sobbing last night thinking about all the people that she has met and how they have influenced her life. On the other hand, her 45 year old father just refuses to deal with it!

As if, if I don’t talk about it, it’s going to go away somehow.

With Mirjam at her beautiful sculptor garden 2007

The first time I met Mirjam, was ~ 14 years ago; I worked for a Swiss-Swedish conglomerate and had to go to Zurich for a meeting. I had heard so many stories about Mirjam, Peter and their wonderful family, that I had to meet her in person and complete this picture.

Wasima had spent quite a bit of time with them and ever since, had become a de-facto member of this family.

The first time Mirjam hugged me, I felt as if I have known her forever. All of her goodness seemed to seep into me with delight. I felt an instant connection.

Zain and Mirjam 2004 in Paros

Mirjam, in my opinion, is the epitome of a mother – caring, loving, yet nudging and firm. Strong willed, yet nurturing; always taking subtle details into account – what you like to eat – collecting small gifts or foods for you; always very much giving. Over these 14 or so years, I have met Mirjam maybe 5 or 6 times; in Zurich, Denver and also, at one of her favorite summer spots Paros – in the Greek Isles.

My favorite moments with Mirjam at their outdoor dining area in Stadel 2007

My most favorite moments with Mirjam were at her home in Stadel, where she was truly at her element; we would sit in front of the fireplace outside, and have breakfast or dinner and our conversation would flow like the meandering river – sociology, history, music, charity, friends or family. The beautiful garden, always lush and green (I only visited her in Summer) and the food always hearty and wholesome, the music always classical – the wine always splendid – and the joy of friendship, always fulfilling.

I remember falling asleep on a hammock outside of her Summer home in the Greek Isles; I remember the smell and taste of the olive oil in the salad she had tossed up that day; I remember how she took Daiyaan to swim in the cold waters of the azure sea, full of rocks below.

Mirjam gave me the joy of enjoying her wonderful concoction of Mueslix. On a nice summer morning, the wonderful Mueslix that she had soaked the night before – with fruits and nuts, is something I search for in European hotels.

When I was a little boy, an aunt taught me that, right around the time of sunrise or sunset, when you feel a mild breeze, you know that angels are passing by and kissing you with a breeze.

On many sunsets or sunrises, in different parts of the world, I have felt touched by a cool breeze. Every time, I have thought about how or what angels looks like. I wrote about this same feeling about a year ago, when Abdullah Chacha (uncle) left.

The last time I saw Mirjam, was in Zurich, one early morning, when she took us to the bus station. Greetings were exchanged and hugs were flowing. Little did we know that we would not meet again.

Maybe that’s what this life journey is meant to be; at meeting points, where we exchange feelings and emotions an then move away.

As we age, on sunrise and sunset, we get too busy, and don’t feel that breeze any more. Angels stop passing by us, or worse, stop kissing us on the forehead, when we really need a good wish.

In a few hours, when the rain stops in Fort Lauderdale, I will take a walk outside, around the time of sunset and see, if I can still feel that wonderful breeze that Mirjam touched my life with, for a very significant part of my adult “family” life.

I am not ready to give up on my angels, yet.

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