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August 29, 2015 / 14 Elul, 5775
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Holding On: A Poem by Alexandra Gross

I encourage EVERYONE to read this powerful poem from Alexandra Gross. Spoiler alert: Bring tissues.


Photo Credit: JINIPIX

Wow. I’m not even sure where to begin. These past few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster for not just myself but for all of Klal Yisroel. From the kidnapping and brutal murders of Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali, to today, as I type this, thousands of my IDF brothers and sisters are fighting for the safety of the Jewish people in Israel.

The night before the soldiers were set to enter Gaza, I didn’t sleep one bit. All I was able to think about was how afraid I was for every single one of them, along with how helpless I felt. At about 4:30 a.m. I just started to write… I don’t know what possessed me to do so but I didn’t stop. Not till about fifteen minutes later, when bam. I had a poem. One that expressed my utmost respect for all of our brave soldiers, as well as their families who have had to say goodbye to their loved ones as he or she prepared to leave home to defend our beloved homeland and the people within it. I did not plan on sharing this poem; it was just sort of something I wrote by accident. But then the news started sharing the tragic deaths of our dear soldiers in Gaza. After I had heard about the most recent tragedy at the time, which was the 13 Golani soldiers killed in action, I suddenly felt a strong need to share that poem with whomever I could. I started with Facebook, and after the strong positive feedback I received there, I decided to go further than that, which brings me to right now. I’ve titled the poem “Holding On” and I hope my words speak to you as they have spoken to me.

Holding On

She kisses him, as they embrace, While tears are streaming down her face, She won’t know when she’ll see him next.

He just can’t seem to say goodbye, Why does he have to see her cry, But he knows he needs to do this.

He’s in army green and standing bravely, One foot out the door, When she cries out to her baby, Let me hold you, just one second more.

Now torn apart with worry, She hopes that he will hurry, In coming home, back to her loving arms.

He says to her, I love you so, And I’ll be back so soon I know, When I’m finished fighting for my country.

She watches him move slowly, With one foot out the door, And she calls out to him softly, Let me hold you, just one second more.

She waits each day, her stomach knots, While trying to control her thoughts, Relax, she breathes, my boy will be just fine.

But his enemies, they show no mercy, Blindly killing, creatures bloodthirsty, He doesn’t think he can hold on much longer.

His mom, her face consumed with prayer, As skies seem to be getting grayer, Oh God, she cries, please watch over my boy.

He sees his blood and with a scare, Starts struggling to gasp for air, And thinks of her, his dear sweet loving mother.

The boy let’s out one single tear, His time of death is creeping near, And he whispers one last time, I love you mother.

His body’s draped in blue and white, An honored hero, fallen soldier, She knows he tried with all his might, And wouldn’t stop till it was over. But he promised her he’d come back safely, Now the pain she can’t endure, As she screams out for her baby, Let me hold you, just a second more.

About the Author: Alex Gross, self-described as "your average girl living in America, a few days shy of turning 19" is anything but average and has the soul of someone much older. Alex spent over half of this past year learning in a Seminary in Israel and with each passing day, her love for the land of her people grew stronger.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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And he whispers one last time, I love you mother.

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