An unforgotten trauma
Archive 2015 Mar 1, 2015 Nuran Yumnu
Homa Nouri: mother, daughter and wife, lives with her five children and husband in Mississauga. Homa raises her children, the oldest being 29 years old and the youngest being 11. She works at the local elementary school as a teacher’s assistant and volunteers at the community mosque on the weekend. Her life seems nothing but ordinary. However, Homa lives every day remembering a tragic event that changed her life forever.
Homa was 17 years old when she was living with her parents and two younger sisters in London, Ontario. They didn’t have a lot of money but managed to maintain a family. Both of her parents worked most of the day and Homa worked a part time job to help out her parents. Homa would help her parents not only money wise but also took a role as a second mother to her two younger sisters. As they were ten years younger than her, Homa would take care of them when her parents were busy working.
One night as the family was sleeping and Homa’s father was working the night shift, the house slowly caught on fire. Till this day the reason for the fire outbreak is still unknown. Homa’s mother tried her best to get everyone out of the house as fast as she could but Homa was not very lucky. She was stuck in the burning house and fought for her life as she awoke from her sleep to the chaos and tried to save her own life. Till this day Homa remembers being awoken to her room in flames and her breath being lost before she could take a breath. She remembers putting on her slippers and finding somewhere to run but every part of her room being blocked off by fire and fallen drywall. Homa remembers losing consciousness being taken by a firefighter outside, into the ambulance and to the hospital. Homa was lucky.
“We actually get a lot of patients who survive tragedies like car accidents and house fires and though they’re not physically hurt they obviously have to live with that for the rest of their lives and those memories are hard to forget” says ER nurse, Emina Yaraneli, from Montreal, Quebec.
Though Homa lived and was not in the burning house for very long, this disturbing memory stays with her. Homa and her family moved to Toronto to live with her aunt then eventually got back on their feet. Years later Homa got married and started a family of her own. Homa is now the mother of 5 children and lives her life normally but has difficulty in some areas.
“I don’t like using the stove. Well I don’t use it at all actually. My husband cooks and so do my three older daughters but yeah I don’t really come near it at all” says Homa Nouri at an interview at her home.
“I don’t have any candles around my house no. Candles on birthday cake and stuff is totally fine, I’m not crazy about it but none around the house,” says Homa Nouri.
Homa’s life is not much different than others. She works, volunteers and spends time with her children. She enjoys reading, knitting and traveling with her family during the summer break. As decades have past since this misfortune in Homa’s life, she still has memories that do not fade away. She told her husband and children the story but it is not something she shares with friends and co-workers, as she feels very personal about it.
“What my mom went through is tragic obviously but we don’t let that interfere with our lives. We’re just always thankful that she made it through otherwise we wouldn’t be here,” says Zohra Nouri, daughter of Homa.
Homa continues to live her life and does not let these memories stop her from being happy. She, like her children and husband, are happy and thankful for her making it through something so difficult. Homa likes having something to be thankful for and appreciates the life she was given, as she now knows somewhat of what it feels like to have it taken away.