24 October 2009


Recently, I read a post on Susan's blog, one of my blogger-friends from India, where she writes about the importance of her friends in her life. This led me to make a personal comment on her wall about my friends.
Last year, my mother, a very young woman [57 years old], full of live and energy, suffered a stroke. My mother has always been the pillar of our family - taking care of everybody and everything. Being an only child, my own daughter, Michelle, was the joy of her life. She always took Michelle to "fun days" and spoiled her endlessly. I was used to her 10 - 15 phonecalls a day, checking up on me, or calling from the market to see if I needed this or that.

All that was cut short in one moment. In one moment, my family's life had turned upside down. The stroke left half of her body paralyzed, including her ability to speak, read and write. The first few months she was in a wheelchair, and stayed at a rehabilitation center for 4 months. My dad and I took turns to be with her for the whole day, supporting her and helping her emotionally as well as doing physiotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy exercises with her.

I had to be strong for my mother, but inside I was torn up. I was devastated. I would cry myself to sleep every night. Most of all, I missed the phone ringing and my mom's voice on the other end. Those phonecalls used to be so irritating to me in the past - I would feel that she was getting under my skin with her questions and practical advice. I miss those "irritating" phonecalls the most.

Today, my mom still can't use her right arm, she has trouble walking, and her vocabulary is minimal. But she has made great progress.

Anyway - I got carried away. I actually wanted to write about friendship. Until about 2 years ago, I didn't have any real friends. I had some friends, but not friends whom I can call in the middle of the night and empty my hearts to. In the summer of 2007 I started working in Isha L'Isha - Haifa Feminist Center, which is a community of feminist activist women. I got to know some amazing women - together we demonstrated against war, against homophobia, we marched on the international day against violence against women. Together we laughed, we cried and we planned projects.

These women became my second family. Without these women, I would have collapsed after my mom's stroke. They are my sisters and my mothers. They offered me their support; they said "You can be weak with us. You can collapse and we will carry you." I could call them in the middle of the night and they would come for a cup of tea. I could call them and cry and they would listen.

I am so grateful to these friends, these sisters of mine for supporting me and helping me get through the most difficult year of my life. Without you, I wouldn't have made it.

Thank you!


  1. Khulud: That is so thoughtful of you. Hugs.

    I am glad for the friends we have. They make life worth living.

    Speaking of mothers, we miss their annoying streaks the most when we realise that they never going to come again. Strength, courage and love to your mom and family.

    Great day to you.

    Joy always.

  2. it is hard i just wrote a warm thank you peace and it got lost. i am so pissed. anyhow i wanted to tell you that u moved me soooooooo much as feminism starting in 1973 in haifa was mainly about sisterhood and i was afraid it got so taken for granted that often maybe forgotten. so i am so pleased you as rather a new comer of isha feel that way and go empowered by us. i love you

  3. Khulud: Love the new refreshing layout of your blog.

  4. friends are life-lines. i'm glad you've got yours.

  5. Thanks Susan & Shadow.
    And Talma: you know you are one of those dear friends I was talking about. Yes, of course sisterhood is alive and kicking!

  6. i miss her phonecalls too :'(...
    and the fun days when she would buy me allot of stuff :P...

  7. Wow, these words make me also emotional. I am happy for you that you have such a great environment and it was a pleasure to get to know this important part of your life, although I had not enough time!

    Hugs to you and the Isha L'Isha woman!!!


  8. Dear all Khulud's friends, I am so moved by the fact that she is surrounded by such valuable people like you. Khulud's mother is my sister, and I am heart-broken at seeing her so disabled. Living thousands miles away and unable to help practically, in the past year, I have been studying the condition and collecting knowledge of how to help her best. I have also spent a few weeks with her on my quite frequent visits since it happened. She had to work hard with me, I was relentless and merciless. She often ended up in tears. Nasim would rebuke me for being harsh with her; but she made progress and she knew it, and after she recuperated, she was ready to continue.It was her well-being drug. Now, as I feel the agony she is going through now, I have a suggestion for you, which is, rather, asking a big favour. Offering Khulud a shoulder to cry on is praisworthy; however, help Khulud and her mum more practically: go to her mom's place every day, take turns, and read with her, speak with her, force her to repeat words, walk with her, excercise with her. If there are 5 of you, each of you will go there once a week for 1-2 hours. Ask her friends and former colleagues to do the same for her. If she has to work hard every day, she will make it. I will come over shortly and show you excercises that you will do with her. Do you know Roald Dahl,the English children's writer? His wife suffered an even worse stroke, and the whole village would go to her place and force her (against her cries and anger) to work hard on herself. She recovered fully. Please, let's put our strength together and save a precious life. Moreover, we will make that life happy and worth living.
    Love to you all, Anna

  9. This is Anna again. Sorry to post it under Anonymous, but the page doesn't want to process me in any other way. I will have to check with Khulud how it works.


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