'Dear Ashi...' | March 8, 2019 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Cover Story - March 8, 2019

'Dear Ashi...'

Grieving Palo Alto parents hope to share late daughter's artwork with her inspiration: Oprah

by Sue Dremann

Five years after Ebrahim and Mehri Rashidpour's beloved daughter Ashi died, one image still lives vividly in their minds: It is 4 p.m., and Ashi takes her place before the television in their two-bedroom apartment. The family turns the channel to The Oprah Winfrey Show, her favorite. When the opening music begins, Ashi, who is paraplegic, begins to dance in her wheelchair. She raises her arms, swaying to the music as best as she can. An artist, Ashi paints every day while watching Oprah, a woman who has opened a window into a world she can admire but in which she cannot take part.

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Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be emailed at sdremann@paweekly.com.


17 people like this
Posted by Blessings
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 8, 2019 at 9:13 am

The love in your family is so strong, it will surely continue to find its way into the world, as it has in this story. Ashi's strength and what she had to deal with in life has moved me to tears, and is an inspiration to face personal challenges.

Mr. Rashidpour, I hope you find peace with this book, with communications about what happened, with the love you and your wife have that still needs to find a place to receive it in this world. This is a hard thing to talk about, but I do think medicine is not geared well to be as supportive and respectful as it should be toward the disabled and especially toward women, and this finds its way into practice. Most people are well-meaning and I think most don't even recognize their own attitude that women and the disabled are not worth as much, that we value our time and lives as much as they value theirs. It is often ingrained where medicine fails, that in one way or other, it must be the patient's fault, and this is especially so for women and the disabled.

It's already clear that you will find a way to honor Ashi's memory by carrying forward the love and the power of what it can do in the world. I wish you all the best. I know I would love to see the book, whether Oprah does or not.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 27, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category. Sponsored by Kepler's Books, Linden Tree Books and Bell's Books.

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