Hassan's mother, Sanaubar, had left Ali's home shortly after Hassan's birth. She had refused to even touch her baby, but one day she showed up at Baba's home and she was welcomed by Rahim Khan as well as Hassan and his wife, Farzana. Once a great beauty, Sanaubar was now a ghastly-looking woman. Toothless with "stringy graying hair," she had been badly cut about the face.
Someone had taken a knife to it and... Amir jan, the slashes cut this way and that. One of the cuts went from cheekbone to hairline and it had not spared her left eye on the way. It was grotesque. (Chapter 16)
Sanaubar had returned to get a last look at Hassan--a chance at redemption for her sinful past. Although Hassan did not accept her at first, and Sanaubar "cried that coming back had been a mistake," he soon welcomed her back "home with her family." Sanaubar was nursed back to health, and she and Hassan spent their time
... catching up on all the lost years. (Chapter 16)
Sanaubar personally delivered Farzana's son--her grandson, Sohrab--and
... he became the center of her existence... The two of them were inseparable. (Chapter 16)
Sanaubar died in her sleep when Sohrab was four, and both Hassan and Sohrab took her death hard. But Sanaubar had found redemption, and when she died,
... she looked calm, at peace, like she did not mind dying now. (Chapter 16)