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Crazy thinking?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:01 pm
by Ararat
Ani Nalbandian was in an airport in San Francisco last week, preparing for the saddest plane ride of her life, when she decided she needed to talk to someone.

more stories like thisShe spotted a friendly-looking flight attendant and began to calmly explain that her mother had just been killed near Boston.

She knew she had picked the right stranger to pour out her heart to when the woman pulled out a Bible.

"Her faith was such a huge part of my mother's life," Nalbandian said Sunday. "Right then I felt, 'Mom's here with me.' "

Nalbandian's mother was Diruhi Mattian, a clinical social worker slain in North Andover last week while paying a house call on a patient.

Thomas Belanger, 19, has been charged with her slaying and is currently undergoing psychological evaluation.

Ani, 26, and her sister Arminé, 22, were the picture of poise as they talked about their mother's life, work, and spirit of forgiveness.

Mattian became a social worker in midlife. She and her family emigrated from Armenia to America in 1989.

One of her first jobs here was at McLean Hospital in Belmont, where a mentor encouraged her to pursue a degree in social work at Simmons College. She worked 70 to 80 hours a week, taking only Sundays off. House calls were common, and her devotion to her patients was well known.

Mattian's daughters describe a dynamo who always made time for everyone but herself.

While they knew relatively little about the details of their mother's work, they were well aware of how far she was willing to go to be available for her clients.

"The relationship was what it was about to her," said Arminé, a senior at Northeastern University. "She liked seeing people changing."

The Nalbandians believe, adamantly, that their mother would forgive her killer. Indeed, they think she already has.

"One thing that is very calming to me is that we're sure that even in the moment when she knew what was happening to her, that she forgave him," Arminé said.

Until last week, they had been an immigrant success story. The family moved here to flee a repressive regime in Armenia.

Ani, who was then 8, recalls being handed a banana and a juice box when they landed at John F. Kennedy Airport, and having no idea what either one was.

"I guess there are bananas in Armenia, but I'd never seen one," she said with a laugh. "Someone told me, 'You eat that one, and drink the other one.' "

The adjustment to Massachusetts was not easy. "I didn't really understand why we had moved until I was in my late teens," Ani said.

By then, she had gotten used to leaning on her mother to help her adjust to a foreign culture.

Mattian had been called to Belanger's house during a dispute Belanger was having with his sister, they said.

With little regard for her own safety, Mattian stayed with him, attempting to make peace.

"She wanted to make sure that girl was safe," Ani Nalbandian said, referring to Belanger's sister.

The daughters' said attention was the last thing their mother ever craved, but they agreed to talk, to tell the public about the person who had been lost.

"It's a good thing to honor her, because she didn't do that for herself," Arminé said.

I asked them what they would say to Belanger, given the chance.

"Obviously, we're sad that we won't be able to spend the rest of our lives with our mother," Ani said. "But we know he's in pain."

"I'd tell him we want the best for him," Arminé added. "We want him to live as happy a life as he's capable of."

Clearly, they believe the way to honor their mother's memory is to forgive as she would have forgiven.

In their compassion they find strength.

"I haven't had one second of anger, not one second," Arminé said. "And that's because of my mother's faith."


http://www.boston.com/news/local/articl ... _a_killer/

What kind of thinking is this?
:(