In Memory of My Mom

By Anna V. Eskamani

People often ask me where I find my source of energy and resilience.

The answer is simple: my mom.

My mother is a force of nature. Her name is Nasrin, which means “wild-rose” in Farsi. My middle name (Vishkaee) is her maiden name.

She grew up in Iran and immigrated to the United States as a young woman decades ago. Despite having acquired a college degree in Iran, she was never able to secure a job that accepted her international credentials and instead worked minimum wage jobs at fast food restaurants, and eventually was a department manager at a local K-Mart.

That would be her last job, because fourteen years ago today, my mom died after a five-year battle with cancer. I was thirteen years old.

The night I lost my mom was the moment I decided to honor her life through the act of empowering others.

I needed to stand up for families like mine, defend the existence and contributions of immigrants, lift up the working class, advocate for clear access to health care, and protect the very public programs that supported my single-parent household like Social Security and Bright Futures.

I am my mother’s daughter, and on this fourteen-year mark of her passing, I am reminded of the purpose and passion she carried, and her energy, resilience, and love. I am reminded of why I fight for us all.

Here’s to finding power in our pain, and to coming together and honoring those who are no longer with us, yet still inspire us each day.

With clear eyes and a full heart,

Anna V. Eskamani