Confession: I was not an intuitive pregnant woman. You know, the kind of woman who knows the “second” she conceives. These women have an instant connection, a lovely internal secret that is then confirmed by pee sticks, blood tests and ultrasounds. I had none of that. “Surprise! You’re growing a person; your due date is [many days before my children were actually born].”
It doesn’t matter. However you find out you are pregnant, or how you will become a mother, through adoption, fostering, anything – you eventually figure out the connection. You build and are built by it. Sometimes there is some tearing down, some forging and reforging through fiery flames. Good times. Great times. Hard times. Shared times.
Today, in my city’s cemetery, three mothers and three fathers, more than a dozen siblings, and an entire nation will bury three children. Three boys — students; kind, helpful, giving people. Their deaths have put an end to a massive national effort to find them. It is not the conclusion we wanted. The politics will long outlive them. There is so much anger. So much sadness. So much frustration. So much helplessness.
I question the decision to send these mothers into the lion’s den, also known as the United Nations in Geneva, to beg the international community for help. In retrospect, the boys were already dead. They were dead by the time their parents knew they were missing. Is this better or worse? This is the kind of question that has no acceptable answer. There should be a parallel universe where they have finished their exams and taking their younger siblings on summer adventures.
The waves of sadness keep coming.
This morning, as Miss M wept in our bed, AM burrowed under the covers; he emerged 10 minutes later to say: “I want to go back to America.” He doesn’t know it’s not safer there.
At the grocery store, a teenager pushed a cart with his younger brother in tow, the two of them taking care of the family shopping. This is how it is. Kids are treasured, but internalize that part of this state of being is responsibility to the source of love.
Almost weepy at the grocery store leads to a lot of ice cream on the tab. FYI.
I am frustrated by the short reach of the news. I feel like all of us, Israelis and Jews, are simply talking among ourselves. We cannot engage the wider world. Does nobody else care? I am sure that can’t be it. Is Israel too far away, too war-torn, too political, too foreign? I don’t know.
I feel like I, personally, cannot catch the attention of my friends who are parents, smart and savvy and politically engaged — in America. What can I say to them, to you, to make you understand the raw grief and crushing moral equivalency that we are subjected to?
I’ll just be here. And when the passionate speeches die away, Eyal, Gil-ad, and Naftali will remain as my close neighbors and in my thoughts.
May their families and those who stand with Israel be comforted. Can this impossible task be achieved? I just don’t know.