My Mothers Story
By Kay Mouradian
As a child growing up in the United States, my mother, Flora, would tell mestories of her own childhood in Turkey. She was a survivor of the 1915 Armeniangenocide and it was these stories that became the basis for my novel,
A Gift in the Sunlight
. I would not have written the book however, if it hadn’t been for aseries of remarkable events that happened to my mother in the ﬁnal years of herlife.
In 1984, at the age of 83 my mother, having outlived her husband and two of herfour children, was hospitalized. She was diagnosed as terminally ill withcongestive heart failure, and could not feed herself because she suffered fromsevere hand tremors. Most likely due to the onset of Alzheimer’s, becameconfused and did not recognize people she once knew."Let her spend her last few days at home," her doctor said. There was nothingmore he could do for her.With a heavy heart, I brought her home. Her ﬁnal moments were near. I did notexpect her to survive the night. But I was wrong. As time passed, not only did mymother rebound but she literally recovered! Her hands quieted and no longertrembled and more amazingly, her mind was again clear and alert as if her braincells had been renewed. Was this a miracle? I watched as she developed newrelationships with friends that only recently she hadn’t recognized. Strangely, shedidn’t remember her past associations with them, but remembered everythingabout them from that point on—it was as if she had met them for the ﬁrst time.The most miraculous and wonderful part of all of this was that my mother hadbecome more loving.Until her heart attack, her life had been colored by the Armenian tragedy. Shewas ﬁlled with anger and self-pity and dwelt on the horrors of the past. She oftentalked about her family who had perished at the hands of the Turks. Now,incredibly, that dark shadow was gone. It was as though something happenedinside Flora’s heart, something beyond my ability to understand. I remember