Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Egypt – LIX. My Years at 12A Rue Khantaret Ghamra – Sickness (3 of 6)


Fola was a poor eater; she also went through what we call today yo-yo dieting. Her eating habits, presumably coupled with other factors, meant that she had a number of health problems, chief among them was a liver condition which made her dizzy and brought at times fainting spells. What the exact problem was I do not know. She also had sinusitis. Finally, because of a problem (with the episiotomy performed) during Robert’s delivery, she also required surgery.

An episiotomy is a surgical cut in the perineum, the muscular area between the vagina and the back passage. An episiotomy used to be routinely carried out in the course of the delivery; but that’s no longer the case. Your doctor will suggest it only if the baby is becoming distressed and needs to be born quickly, or if he thinks that you may tear in an uneven way unless the birth canal is carefully enlarged.

An episiotomy is in most cases painless; however, the episiotomy always needs to be sewn up (after the birth of the placenta) by the doctor; and this procedure is painful and requires the injection of a local anaesthetic into the perineum unless, of course, an epidural is already in place.

Essentially, what my mother explained to me in later years, was that the doctor didn’t properly sew the surgical cut. As a result, an infection was always possible. Whether I properly understood her, I do not know. At any rate, the day came when she required surgery.

The surgery went well; but the recovery was an anxious period for all concerned. The risk of infection is high in this area, and the surgeon and nurses were ever vigilant. Mercifully, there was no infection, and eventually Flora was back home. The captain was again at the helm of the Ghamra ship!

Surprisingly, mom was relatively healthy both in Israel and Canada. Much later though, with age, she suffered from a number of ailments. She was eventually felled by a heart attack in 1993; it was sudden and she didn’t linger. The kind of death we all wish for. She was 81.


My brother was determined not to miss any childhood diseases. He had the measles, chicken pox, scarlet fever, to mention just a few. The vexing thing was that, like clockwork, the moment we arrived in Alexandria to start our vacation, he came down with an exotic disease. Often the doctor couldn’t even diagnose it. But the little guy was so cute, he was always forgiven!

My brother survived all that and eventually became the strong one in the family, and the go-to person if there was a difficult issue. He played a central role when the time came, for first, both of us, and later my parents, to immigrate to Canada.

Robert is now the head of his Montreal “tribe,” a tribe that has provided me with fine nieces and nephews.

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