|Birth: ||Feb. 7, 1894, Armenia|
|Death: ||Oct. 4, 1977|
Eulogy for Zepure Kahiraminian Hairabedian
The first thing I remember about her were her rosey cheeks. She was carrying a parasol. She was about sixteen or seventeen then, and I was shy of her, because she was beautiful. She was elebant. A lady. My mother's cousin. We grew up under the same trees, on the same grass, in an enchanted village called Zefanoz where people spent their summer vacations. We went on an excursion to the hills, gathering wildflowers on the way, laughed and talked and sang, and Zepure was walking with the director of my school. And I used to climb the cherry trees that grew in the garden of her summer home and eat fistfuls of cherries, until chased away by her mother, who was my mother's aunt and belonged to the great Diradourian clan. The Diradourian's opened the first Europan factory in Trebizond; a huge flour mill.
The roses withered in her cheeks, as they always do. She was saved by some miracle, as I was, came to America, as I did, and we met again in Los Angeles. She was married. A mother. Married to a good hmble man, who worked hard to support his wife and children, a hospitable man, open-hearted, who made a fair living with his truck, and one day he was killed by another truck, leaving his wife and three little boys behind him. An American saga. I can still smell the shish-kebab he made in his yard.
Sepure was never a worldly woman, but she managed to bring up her boys; only God knows how. They made a home. They had her love. They went to school. They grew up as American boys. Of course they knew their mother, and felt in a vague way that she was not an ordinary woman. She was or had been somebody in the old country. They always knew she was a lady. She read. She had ideas and dreams. And she was always desperately lonely. A spiratual loneliness; the loneliness of the mind and of the heart. The loneliness that comes, in part, from having two different worlds under the same roof. And also comes from memories; silent and unspoken. She could never say what was in her heart. And her memories, thoughts and dreams, sorrows and joys never fully spoken and kept more or less secret are now going to the grave with her.
These are. ladies and gentlemen, among the great untold stories of America. Zepure was an immigrant mother. And to me she belongs in the pantheon of the great.
She never grew up. She died a child at heart. The good always do.
I should have sat down and talked for hours or days with her but I did not. I was "busy". I was "writing". We lived in two different parts of the town. But she was always dear and prescious to me, and I never really saw her without her rosey cheeks and her parasol. I was always in Zefanoz with her, and I knew she was always in Zefanoz, too, with those cherry trees. Actually, we didn't have to speak. We had exactly the same thoughts, feelings, memories; the same sorrows.
Zepure died without ever knowing what a great woman and what a rare spirit she was. She died innocent. All her life she had been an innocent. I ask you to bow before the memory of an Armenian innocent who made good in Aerica, through her American-born children, and died an American, too, a greater, a more beautiful American mother than she ever took herself for, in her innocence.
But to me she is standing before the gates of heaven with her rosey cheeks and her parasol and I am sure they will open before her and God will take her in.
5 October 1977
Ara Hairabedian (1927 - 2004)*
Los Angeles County
Created by: Roger H. Vartabedian
Record added: Jan 19, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 46862147