As near as I can figure, Aliza caught the bus right before these two. By the time we arrived at the Central Bus Station, she had already left to walk to the Maale Adumim bus line. By the time Elie got there, she had already caught the bus home.
For the next 35 minutes or so, while Elie walked back and forth and while I waited and worried, she was riding the bus to our home. Mostly, I tried to block all the terrible thoughts out because logically, she was either safe in Kiryat Arba, or safe in Jerusalem. Through it all, I had no feeling that anything had happened and mostly, I think I was afraid of her being afraid.
Shortly after 9:30, my husband called to tell me that Aliza had arrived home. She didn’t cry once…I cried enough tears for both of us. But there is a huge difference between being scared and being terrified; about being afraid your child is upset, and being afraid your child is being hurt.
Not for a single moment did I fear she had been kidnapped. Not for a second did I experience the paralyzing fear a parent must have in other countries. All along, my greatest fear was that she was lost somewhere and afraid and without a phone, I didn’t know how to get to her.
I can’t begin to explain how much I appreciated a perfect stranger – the bus driver – assuring me that she was fine and all would be well. And it is…she had a great time; enjoyed the visit with her friend’s family. She liked the food (but likes mine better). The challah that her friend’s mother made was delicious (but mine is better, she told me). She met friends; walked around, had a very nice time.
“I should have called,” she said when we talked about the evening. But I assured her that she did great. She got herself home; and she did call once. She had no idea that I was so concerned. She also knows, deep down, that I’d have gone to the end of the world for her.
I can’t be upset about this evening because it couldn’t have ended better than it did…it’s 11:00 p.m. and I know where my children are. Amira is with her husband and her son; Elie is with his wife and daughter. By now, Shmulik is back home with his wife and Davidi is at his dorm in Jerusalem and Aliza…Aliza is going to bed in her room, knowing that we love her so very much.
It will be okay, it is okay. It is a national saying, a promise, if you will. Yehiye b’seder.
Visit A Soldier’s Mother.Paula Stern
About the Author: Paula R. Stern is CEO of WritePoint Ltd., a leading technical writing company in Israel. Her personal blog, A Soldier's Mother, has been running since 2007. She lives in Maale Adumim with her husband and children, a dog, too many birds, and a desire to write.The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.
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