On October 7th, Simchat Torah, my husband went off to war and I stayed home to be a miluima. A miluim + Ima (reservist + mother) is the wife of the miluimnik. He has to fight, and I have to break up the fighting at home. He gets to serve our country, and I need to figure out how to continue to serve three meals a day. He is part of a battalion of troops; I’ve got four little troopers at home asking when Abba is coming back.
The first week was a blur. The unknown, the fear, and this constant nagging feeling that I’m not doing enough. I can’t throw BBQs for the soldiers and I can’t run fundraisers for supplies. Yes, I know, taking care of four little ones is so very important. Being a mother is a difficult task that is a huge zechut (honor) to fulfill. But what about me, Bazy, the person?
As I was changing diaper after diaper, I thought, how could I contribute? And what am I good at? As a video editor, cranking out videos, several in a day is something I can do quite easily. And as a medical clown, I’ve always been a strong believer in healing through laughter. So as I changed another diaper I thought, why not combine those skills? I started to film while wiping. It got funny fast.
I cannot tell you how lonely being a miluima can be right now in Israel. Not only a miluima. Anyone! Stuck on the home front. Whether you have volunteer opportunities or not. Whether you are responsible for other human beings or not. Being at war brings with it a whole new group of challenges, both physically and mentally — and the struggle is real.
As I started to post, people started reaching out. Telling me that my videos are hilarious and exactly what they need right now. I started getting hugs from people in the street because I was giving them hope, I was helping them heal. I felt like they in turn gave me a new purpose, telling me to “keep it up, I wait for your posts daily.”
The flip side of this was a sea of messages from people asking how could I possibly be able to laugh and make others smile at a time like this? How am I not crying all day long? Which is amazing, because it gave me an opportunity to tell them that I am also falling apart daily. Crying all the time. Picking up the pieces just in time for school pickup. It helped me tell others that all the feelings they are feeling are normal and that together we are strong.
So this is me, this is my fight. I want to make people laugh in a time that does not have much laughter. I want to continue praying for all of our soldiers to come home, and in the meantime I want to complain about having to hold my own while they are away. So if you know of anyone who needs a good laugh. Who is shying away from the news but wants to stay connected. Send them my way, I promise to stay real, and I promise to keep sending out hugs in the only way that I know how.