Jeyran’s pleasant demeaner and beautiful smile mask the layers of difficulty that make up her life’s story. Jeyran was born with problems in her leg, hip and back, causing chronic pain and mobility issues. Life in the village revolves around the farm’s productivity, but Jeyran’s physical condition made it impossible for her to keep a lot of animals or plant a large garden, which made it challenging to meet the needs of her family. A few years ago, she heard about Azerbaijani Socks through a TV interview that Teresa did. She contacted us and we sent a delegate to meet her. Since then, she has been knitting for us.
Jeyran’s husband, along with many of the men in their village, were promised work in Russia, and left a few years ago. At first, the work was good, and because of this income combined with Jeyran’s knitting money, she was able to have surgery on her hip and leg. This improved her mobility and helped with her pain levels.
Our visit with Jeyran was motivated by her older son because, at eighteen years old, he is entering his mandatory year of military service. It is important that friends and family visit him before he goes, bringing their words of encouragement and blessing for his year of service.
With her older son entering the military, and her husband in Russia, Jeyran’s younger son, age eleven becomes the man of the house. A couple of years ago, a windstorm destroyed their house, so they are living in the great-grandmother’s home, without plumbing or modern conveniences. Jeyran’s young son has a lot of work to keep everything running well. But he has taken on the task with an eagerness to help his mother. Jeyran insists that he continues with his studies at school as well.
Despite all these hardships, the daily pain, the separation of loved ones, the meager resources, the heavy responsibilities, both Jeyran and her young son have a sweetness about them. Though they shared their story with us, it wasn’t in a spirit of bitterness and complaint. It was just statements of reality, mixed with an appreciation for what they had and a hope for the future. It has been said that the trials of life can either sweeten or sour a person. Jeyran has chosen the path of sweetness, and shares that sweetness with those around her.