When Elie’s unit was moved south and put in position near Gaza before the Cast Lead War in 2008, I experienced about a month of unbelievable fear and all sorts of other things (I won’t even attempt to summarize it all here, but it’s available if you want to click back to late December 2008/January 2009). I also, amazingly enough, had a blog whose readership soared into the tens of thousands a day. It is, on the one hand, the dream of many bloggers (and the reality of a select few). The only problem was – I was too distracted to “enjoy” it.
And for some reason, I read the ones that were so nasty too. The ones that wished such horrible things on my country, my family, my son and these made me angry…and sometimes they made me cry too. Some I deleted, some I put through. Some I turned into posts called Comments on Comments and responded.
When the war was over and Elie was back home, a few weeks went by and I noticed my blog was back to its normal daily rates – nope, not 10,000+ a day, but just fine for me. I was back with my friends, back to normal. And I was happy.
A few weeks ago, Israel was again being shelled by hundreds of rockets – sometimes in a single day, certainly within each week. We moved to the edges of war – Israel and our sons, my son. Our air force flew into action hitting over 1,500 important MILITARY targets that needed to be taken out. Elie was there – again and I balanced my fears with work, blogging, and worrying about Elie’s wife (who was amazing and comforting and worrying about me).
Once again, my blog stats showed a surge – not to the level of tens of thousands but still, a really hefty increase per day. I got a few nasty comments, not nearly as many as last time and not nearly as vicious.
And then the cease-fire was declared and Elie came home…for a while, I would hear a sound and stop to listen to see if it was a siren; I would check the news to see if a rocket had been fired. Friends in the south told me how their children were having a hard time getting back to school. They were afraid.
I’ve stopped hearing sirens in my head; stopped thinking that a revved up motorcycle is the beginning of a siren. I’ve stopped checking some news sites; check others less often. And my blog stats have gone down – still above normal, but a nice above normal.
We’re settling back to the flat of the roller coaster – Israel and I, settling back to quiet. I don’t know how long it will last; you can go crazy if you even attempt to calculate it. Oh, I’m sure there will be more rockets (hey, there was even one on Sunday that was fired, but it fell short and was mostly ignored with the hope that it was nothing more than one idiot with a missile and a match…do you use a match to launch a missile…probably not). I have little doubt that there will be another war with Gaza, maybe even one with Lebanon. With the upheaval in Syria – at some point they are going to realize attacking Israel might save them and then, again, we might be facing war.
But that’s tomorrow, next week, next month. God willing, at least next year or the year after that and if we are very lucky, maybe it will be another four years or five. Maybe, please God, it will be long enough for Davidi to go into the army…and out…before the next one.
So for now, I’ll rejoice in being where we are because I’ve decided my favorite place in the WHOLE world…is that flat of the roller coaster. You can believe, you really can, that it’s okay. That this time, you’re near the end of the ride and you can finally coast. Just relax – life is good. No sudden falls ahead…just flat, safe, calm.
May God forever bless us with these messy floors and children who never listen for the siren, never look where to hide. May the path ahead be calm, flat….quiet.
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 for more than 5 years. She lives in Maale Adumim with her husband and children, a dog, too many birds, and a desire to write. Visit Paula Stern's blog, A Soldier's Mother.The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.
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