Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Soldier's MOTHER Speaks


I have been worrying about that kid keeping his limbs attached to his body since before he was born. It's not like I was going to stop when people were firing projectiles at him, trying to hit him. I worried about what would happen to his body if they got him. I worried about what would happen to his spirit if he got one of them. I felt his pain when he missed his wife desperately. I felt his fear, even though he would not voice it.

He would call when he was "back from the office," our code for when he was at the base just outside of Gaza. We had lovely talks sometimes, philosophical grappling with the situation's politics. He couldn't tell me much; and I didn't ask. We honored the rules. "No civilian phone line is secure." Mostly, we just updated each other briefly. I gave him news he was seeking; he just gave me his voice.

Every so often, we would get "the call."

"Ema, I love you very much. I really love you." He would say the words slowly and carefully, as if asking me to pay. close. attention. This call was code for "I'm going back in; and I am terrified I won't ever speak to you again." And my military/mom response was very cheerful, because that is my job: "You are one of my heroes, Josh. Your abba and I are so very proud of you. You have been well-trained. You know your job, and you are good at it. Think about what is in front of you, and the guys on either side of you. Remember For Whom you work. That's all. I love you very, very much." This was the verbal form of polishing his shield and sword. It was all I could do.

I feel privileged and I feel humbled to have had that glimpse;
The Perspective of a New Immigrant Mom, Post-Gaza.


rutimizrachi said...

Thank you for the link, and for your kind comments, my friend. Mostly, thank you for your many, many prayers for all of our soldiers.

the sabra said...

Gosh it's SO good.
Heck, YOU'RE so good!
I see the OU reads my blog, btw, and posted your article ;)