Tuesday 10 February 2009

Evening with a Sister

As always, I had plenty of plans for tonight: cooking, some Quran with Little Lady, some reading, some playing with the kids and some time to sort my bedroom out – well my scarves at least (every time Kooky Little Sis gets near them, I can’t find anything). I got home from work and had barely sorted the first fight out between the kids (“she called me stupid”, “he burped in my face”) when one of my good friends came around with her three boys.

We were married around the same time and became friends when she came to this country and her husband asked my husband (work colleagues) to introduce her to me as she was lonely. We became fast friends, lived together for a while and endured three pregnancies and had three children in parallel. We have laughed together about our funny post-baby belly’s, shared news about our families, and watched each others children grow up.

The similarities end there though. She has come here and had to start afresh, whereas my family are here, I have my own home, my education was free and I have a job – something she lacks the confidence for.

Now, her husband has had to head to the other end of the city for work so she is alone, her immigration status is indeterminate (the Home Office have been sitting on their application for years) and they are now in dire financial straits. She had come round because she could not pay her gas or electric bills and wanted me to call the utility companies because her English was poor. We worked through the bills, but I knew she was still very down, so I made her stay. I got her to help me in the kitchen making Little Man’s favourite boiled rice and lentils and whilst I chopped and stirred, she talked – she hadn’t seen her parents in eight years, her mother’s health had deteriorated, she lived in fear of the Home Office deporting her, her youngest son suffered from asthma and eczema and her every small cough and ache was making her paranoid.

In the meantime, her boys played with my children, encouraged by their spiritedness, to run riot a little – to my pleasure, as they are such well-behaved boys unlike my tribe of hooligans.

She kept talking as we served the children first and then ourselves – the food was delicious thanks to her tips. Gorgeous surrounded himself with a two-foot radius of rice and her youngest fell on our food, leaving a trail of coke seeping into my socks.

I sat with her in the internet and we Googled her mother’s condition and the shoes I recommended her for her foot trouble (my favourite’s) before we nagged the children to tidy up so they could get ready to go home. She seemed happier and less distracted when she left (what she didn't know was that her husband had called the day before and got my husband to book coach tickets for him to visit on the weekend and surprise her - don't ask me how I managed to keep my mouth shut).

I didn’t get to do any of the things I wanted to today – but I am more than glad.


  1. Assalamu alaykum sister,

    Such a dedicated friend! It always makes us feel better when we help others in any way, even if it seems small or insignificant.

    Being asthmatic since childhood, I can only imagine the fear and paranoia that paralyzes her heart. I vividly remember the fear in my mom's face when I was ill.

    I will make dua for her, and for you for your kindness.

    Inshallah you and your hooligans lol and husband are in the best iman and health.


  2. Aslamu alakum mashaallah ukti , its a special quality to open your home to someone in this way i see to much selfishness around in the west , peep's are too consumed with routine and me me and more me and mine. May allah reward you sister and may Allah ease the sistes suffering. Western societies can be a VERY lonely place with or without families around and i feel the sisters pain there. Also the reason she came here to be with her DH and now they have to be seprated too. I can understand her pain as i was apart for 3yrs and we are still getting over the truma as a family. Allah protect the children and thier parents ameen.

  3. I always knew you were a special sister, and this post reaffirms that belief :-D

  4. Assalam-alaikam,

    Sister iMulsimah,
    please do remember this sister in your dua's she is so sad right now.

    Sis Rainbow,
    "she came here to be with her DH and now they have to be seprated too"
    jazakh'Allah-khairun for your insight. I never saw it this way even though I know her so well

    Sis Washi,
    I am blushing, good people see their on qualities in others whether they are there or not.