“Okay, tell me again.” Here, one morning we woke up, he burned all our money. “Oh, Mom, it’s not like that. How to burn them? “Start with the envelope.” Massoud was collecting envelopes.
“Seeing the bigger envelope than usual, he took the envelope and burned the money.” “But Mom Say it well. Tell me about your house, my grandfather. Tell Massoud that you are not angry. “Please, Mom, come Tell me how the money was burned, how you came to Istanbul, how you met me…”
“Well, one day three sisters lived in a house overlooking a beautiful sea. Their names were Turkan, Donush and Darya. They are with their father, Sadegh and their mother, Nasrin.
“They sat in their arms at night, dreaming about the wonderful years ahead.” “Mom, do not tell like fairy tales ..
When my son says, “Mom, tell the truth,” I ask myself, “What is the truth?” The partial answer to my question is actually hidden in the word my son emphasized.
In other words, do not ignore them when describing fear, pain, sadness, avoidance, and concealment.
Live again, say by living it, let me live too. Do not pretend that there are no bad things. He tells me not to tell a story, tell me about your life… Of course I can not say that if you do not make that life a myth, it will not be worth telling.
My mind is very confused these days, as if I have lost my way in that turmoil.
How real from what I remember, how perfect. I do not know how much I believed in the totality that was in my mind. Maybe I should start over for myself. I have to tell our story as if we were telling it to someone who has never heard of it. This is a thick notebook with a turquoise leather cover that has been sitting in a drawer for years. In fact, I bought it a few years after moving from Ayvalik to Istanbul. Again, when I did not know if I was in a myth or in reality, I reached for the cover. My heart pounded from the surprise of meeting Sardar after all this time. When it comes to dating, you might think we met on the road, but no, that did not happen. Sardar entered my aunt’s house with slow steps and said: Hello, as if it was the last time yesterday.
Just as we had just met, I turned and looked at my aunt, father, and sisters at the breakfast table.
After that, hello, I spent a few days disconnecting from real life and the present. I was a thinker. I was holy, I was in the past. I thought if I wrote it, I might choose the right thing.
I grabbed this notebook while trying to find my way in that heavy cloud of my memory, but I could not write at all. And then my life, which had been a picture for decades, moved as if it was taking the pain out of the past, and when I thought it would never flow, it moved so fast that I could not keep up with it.
I said no. What I said will not pass. Those who left came back, some of those who stayed died.
Then, just when things were going well and the happy ending was almost over, an unexpected storm arose. But we are used to the storm. How many times have we landed this ship safely?
My son, unaware of what his mother is going through, asks me to tell stories over and over again every night before he goes to bed.
When I think about it, what makes me happy are the narrow cobbled streets of our city, the ruined Greek houses they try to live in together, the Sea of Light, the neighborhood we grew up in. I’ve never seen pine trees, grandma, the food cooked in our kitchen, the wooden yard in our backyard, the room at the bottom of the garden and our orange machine.
And I choose the best days for him from the oldest parts of the past years, running, standing, pushing, hugging a lot, and most importantly, always loving each other very much.
My son’s insistence on listening to my childhood reminds me of things I forgot a long time ago, as I seek new memories to share, the wonderful days of joy I remember come to me. For example, our red and white striped swimsuits that my mother sewed for us, the whole family spent together on the shores of the Aegean Sea, eating watermelon and French fries. We laugh a lot just because we drink soda and get the gas out of our noses and the tears that flow from our eyes.
The fact that we were madly happy with the shiny black leather shoes on the first day of school. After we secretly put on the expensive green leather shoes that my mother had bought for the New Year’s reward and broke her heel, my sister Darya and I hugged each other and cried for our misery. Even the thought of our crying changes me now. We spent our childhood in Ayvalik. The sunset was so beautiful in our city that “it was as if fire were burning in the sky again!”
We clasped our hands as we looked to the horizon. That fiery pink-purple-orange sky will be replaced by a deep red-blue dome adorned with stars. While the lights were on, one by one, the evening prayer to the sea and then the voice of my mother calling us for dinner mingled with the fishing boats.
Late summer meant cool but sunny autumns. The early evenings when we returned from school warmed our home with peace.
The unforgettable smell of that house is still in my nostrils. It was a combination of lemon, soap and earthy scent that I had never heard or heard of anywhere in my life. We were three sisters and we had beautiful dreams. What fun games, what beautiful books, and what unique songs that filled our lives. Ah! The memory of those days fills my lungs like a sad but sweet wind.
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Recording these moments when I was smiling at myself, my son turned his face towards his face with his small hands and said: Now tell me how you laughed! He says, and we get lost in another old day. We leave our house in Safa neighborhood and sit together on the benches of Sakarya Elementary School. But most of all he likes to listen to the morning that when we decided to go to Istanbul, the money that was sold at the same price as our house was burned.
You will definitely enjoy imagining a bunch of money burning in the stove. What he says is “like real”, what he has seen from cartoons full of fire and horror, no matter how hard I try to keep him away. But the excitement in my little eyes, which has nothing to do with money, encourages me to say it again.
Of course, I can not tell him the truth as it is and completely. He falls asleep before he can hear about the time my father came home with the money he received for the sale of the house.
As he takes deep breaths, I look at his innocent face on the pillow, somewhere inside me… pain, wound and suffering… appear. this is the truth! What if one day he is without me? How does it grow? Who tells him about his childhood?
What I can not tell anyone is a long black train passing through the pain. Thinking that time is running out raises the question of how well I can live the life I have been given these days. Alongside my good and beautiful memories, my wasted and misplaced years stand in confusion. This confusion makes me nervous.
They were like this, I was like this, I was right, I was wrong, it was right, he did it, when he said I could not, how he wasted his life. “I’ve reached the end of the allotted time for you, I had more to say, but…”
Sometimes I feel like speakers are trying to use the remaining time to the last second by speeding up. Lecturing and shouting and mixing notes in their hands. The presenter is not in front of me to say: “I hope in the next program” while the caption is underway that “I have not said anything yet, the time was very short.”
There is no other program. However, it is clear from the beginning that the period is over, one forgets. The sound of a kitchen wall clock is like the flow of a small river. No tick, just the sound of running water with a childish rush. Is flowing… is flowing. One day – all the loved ones of the city we lived in and I lost them one by one.
After I left – I thought time never passed. Now, at this moment, in fact, I hope for tomorrow more than ever.
This anonymity does not frighten me, on the contrary, it reminds me of its value. Because the remnants of yesterday find much more meaning in me today. That’s why, although I can not stop the flow, I try to record what is left behind. I want to clear this mess in my mind as soon as possible.
Some time ago, when my doctor started talking and saying, “We have a serious problem,” my wife, who was holding my hand, thought that these words would destroy me. He was squeezing my hand so hard that I realized he was the one who was afraid of falling. His hands were drenched in sweat. When we left the doctor’s office, the endless darkness on my face impressed me more than I could hear. “do not worry. “We can do it.” I said, “Come, let me take you to a good dinner.”
He nodded in approval at everything I said without making a sound. It was near sunset. We went to a restaurant I liked, overlooking the Bosphorus from the top of a very high building. Not a customer yet. We sat at the table that was shown to us. “What do we want to do?” He asked wearily if I knew… but I should have known. Because he was asking me.
I replied, “First of all, we do not abandon ourselves, do we?” “We are not going to sit like sad owls and tell anyone.” “Your sisters? Don’t we tell them? ”I stopped. Should I tell them? That’s when I got confused. I whispered: I do not know. “I do not want to be alone in this,” he said. I was sick but my wife seemed to be afraid for herself. Should I be upset or angry? I thought maybe he wants to say something else. But I still could not stop blaming.
“How?” being alone? Are you telling me that? ”“ Look… this is not something you are going to live alone. Everything is about us. This is my disease too, you know? If we are not together today, when will we be?
Are you hiding your surgery? What about chemotherapy? How can you hide what you have left behind when your hair falls out? ”He was right.
I said, “Don’t tell my father, but he’s very upset. I also do not want to get involved in people’s professionalism right now.”
“Let me go back to my shell, let me live everything alone, by licking it, I heal my wound, you say get well soon, doctor and recommend treatment – that means we’re out again, right?” No, knockCertainly not. You know. I do not like to approach people in such situations.
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The people are your family; Your sisters, your father, your aunts, uncles… I do not say let’s announce to the whole world.
But your family needs to understand tonight. It is not too late.
“It simply came to my notice then. So tired that .. I could not speak at all. “So call me, I feel very weak now, I do not have the power to answer questions or talk long, believe me.” He caressed my chin.
You were the one who said we will not abandon ourselves, let us stand behind you like a castle so that weakness passes quickly, do not collapse. I nodded.
He stroked my hair. The waiter brought the menus. My wife took her phone out of her coat pocket.
He quickly got up from the table and said, “Choose what you want to say. I do not care, I eat whatever it is. “I will call the girls and come.” His eyes were full of tears and he did not want me to see, I understood. What was the price of the phone?
I asked the waiter to bring two of my favorite soufflés. This time I was going to eat dessert first. If we had the appetite and time for the main meal, we would eat later. The waiter walked away. My wife was on the terrace of the restaurant, leaning against the fence, with her back to me, talking on the phone.
I could see his face. What was he saying? How did he tell my sister? Which was he looking for? The sea or the Turks? He said he would be back soon, but talked too long.
While the waiter was making soufflés that took time to make, he came out of the terrace and walked over to me. When he passed through the terrace, I understood from the same distance. He had cried. He was just sitting next to me when I heard a message from the sea. “We are coming. My sisters were on their way.
Be good. you will get better. You are our only return. do not Cry!” That was when I wanted to cry. Then I no longer had that desire to cry.
My surgery was successful. Forced menopause had just begun. Of course, at the beginning, when my doctor told me that an important two-month period was waiting for me and that I should protect myself as little as possible and stay away from the crowd, I should prepare for the heavy drug treatment that would begin.
Of course later, but now I realize that this time, even this disease is a gift. We have a few weeks ahead of us for medical treatment. I feel great at certain times of the day.
Then, suddenly, that confusion and distraction overwhelms me. But I push myself, I do not give up.
I combine the beautiful memories I told my son with the facts I kept to myself, and as I write I think there is no better opportunity to clear my mind than this.
This notebook meant that he was waiting for today and it was time to wake up beautifully asleep.
How everything comes to its time with a divine breath. On the one hand, he patiently stays in a quiet, mysterious sleep until it is his turn.
When I pick up the notebook and start writing, I realize that I am making peace with myself by attaching my broken memories to the happy memories of a child coming and going. It is as if I am just recognizing the beauty of my story and my life. By thinking, everything falls into place.
Maybe that’s why I have to write. Anxiety about myself is like despair.
However, is not putting everything in its proper place, arranging and preparing for a new beginning? We did not say anything when the nurse entered the room to prepare me for surgery in the morning.
My sister, Darya, and my wife all watched the nurse in silence. First he asked me to wear a lace apron.
Then he told me to take off my wedding ring. I took it out and gave it to my wife. He got up sadly and took it in the palm of his hand. “Then the nurse hit me in the head and said, ‘Now I’m injecting you with painkillers, and in ten minutes I’ll come and take you to the operating room.'” He said this and left the room.
My sister and Darya, both trying to cheer me on, shook my hand and my wife kissed my forehead. My wife’s eyes reminded me of my father’s compassion: “I’m glad we got married. How good it is that you are my husband, I’m glad you loved me as much as I do “and her beautiful eyes became hazy:” I’m glad you loved me… Let’s listen to the song. What do you want?” And he rolled his eyes and I laughed.
In fact, this was the first laughter from the depths of my being in all this time, let go of Sezen Aksu, gitmem ..If I listen to this song I really can not go anymore. My wife was surprised by what I said. When I said that, Darya let go of my hand and said, “Your melancholy love kills me, I swear. The child says let’s do a happy thing and change the atmosphere. Now you take a look at the song you have chosen! Darya said all this with her usual sweet anger. After that, my sister Turkan said: Well, sea, let her listen to whatever she wants and she turned to my wife. “If you do not have your phone, I have it, let me play it.” How did our calm and emotional sister become a different person in those ten years? During all these years, she was downloading her songs in her ear? The four of us were listening to a song that filled the room when the nurse re-entered. “If I give you your medicine,” he said. While he was injecting the medicine, I thought maybe this is the end of my life, maybe a new beginning. “I love you so much,” I said as the nurses pushed the roller bed toward the elevator. I will leave my son first to God and then to you. ” The last thing I saw when closing the elevator was the sea crying.
And grabbed my sister’s arm. I vaguely remember entering the operating room. With the numbness of sweetness around me, the autumnal avalanche was before my eyes, and then a deep sleep overtook me… Oh, that green-blue child full of olive trees, and the early years of my youth. Those blue years when I believed I was always indebted to life.
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I am a girl with my father’s understanding, his right hand, more like him. Middle… Donush .. A name given to children in the seventies who went abroad and many paid special attention to this name. My father loved my name very much and I loved my name too because my father loved it. I was proud to say I look like him. The world became mine. I saw myself much closer to my father than the Turks and the sea. Isn’t it a bit like being a middle child in every home? My whole childhood and adolescence passed in a suspended state. Did my father really love me? I should have been nine or ten years old then. In fact, I look more like my father than my mother, even more like my father than the sea, while looking in the mirror for days I thought my nose, the color of my eyes and some of my morals are quite similar to my father. However, Darya and I differed only in height and weight. A stranger looking at our eyebrows, eyes, and nose could easily tell we were from the same family. But no, I did not think I was like him at all. Our mood was not the same. He was very naughty… I was calm, he was good at math, I was Turkish… he loved animals, I loved plants, flowers… Our list of differences continued. My sister Turkan was originally my mother’s daughter and I believed that Darya and I were these two for my mother. They kissed and hugged us too, but my mother could not hide the fact that she admired my sister like a work of art.
That’s why I and the sea stayed and our father’s love.
I myself wanted my father to love only me. My sister Turkan’s beauty was legendary. My parents wanted their daughters to look like the Turks of the council. Although my father also loved Fatemeh Girik, the Turks of the council were my parents’ common denominator, and the name was given to their first child.
When my sister Darya and I were playing in the sea with the swimsuits sewn by my mother, Turkan was sunbathing on the beach in the icy blue swimsuit that my aunt had brought as a gift from Istanbul, and her beautiful hair was shining in the sun, hidden from my father’s eyes. Reads White, who was very popular at the time.
One of the things that made my father very angry in those days was that the Turks read the famous white-cover novels of those days and the cheap photojournalism. My sister reads all those pocket books full of love, passion and sadness over and over again. Whenever my father came to see my sister reading the book dokuzuncu hariciye koğuşu, that book did not last for years. While my sister was lost in this book and her love story, young travelers often passed by her to get her attention, and, playing at a distance from my father, who was afraid of her, they played ball against the Turks and wherever possible. When the eyes of the Turks fell on them, they were sunbathing, but the Turks did not look at anyone. He was an educated beauty and he loved the books of Peyman Safa.
. In fact, the Turks could never have been more vicious, and it was very unlikely that you would hear the Turks loudly. He did not talk much and only had a smile on his face.
For all its beauty, the Turks may not have even been real. My sister was born as soon as my parents got married. With all her love, my mother called her my bud of youth. He thought that it had given him beauty and all the essence of his youth. She raised my sister with great enthusiasm, like a girl playing with her first doll.
In fact, she did not want a second child for seven years. A woman who is a primary school teacher and spends all day in the noise of children with her husband, who is a government employee, was in a difficult situation. How could they have another child? Their condition was not very good… but I surprised them in their last year working in skiing. Unaware of my mother’s pregnancy, my father, a government employee, was transferred to Ayvalik. They wanted my mother to be transferred to Ayvalik under my father’s conditions, but my mother was an employee of the education department and the situation was different.
When it turned out that my mother had to wait a few more months for her transfer to take place, my father picked up the weekly Turkan and went to Ayvalik, where he had to start working in Ayvalik, hoping that the weekly Turkan would start school in the fall of that year. He takes her with him.
My mother was reluctant to leave, while she had to leave her job on the one hand and her daughter on the other, but given the risk of a few months, she explained to me how she hugged my sister’s shirt and cried.
According to my father’s calculations, however, their separation did not take long. As soon as my father took over the house in Ayvalik, my mother sent the belongings and stayed until she went to one of her teacher friends who lived alone.
My father used to say that it was only a few months, but for your mother, like years passed, I got a house shortly after I arrived in Ayvalik, and your mother loaded and sent the furniture.