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September 1, 2015 / 17 Elul, 5775
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I’ll Never Forget My Panic When My Kids Didn’t Get Home on Time

Shiloh, Israel

Shiloh, Israel
Photo Credit: Lori Lowenthal Marcus

I’d go through such panic when waiting past the “should be home by now” time in the days my kids commuted to school and even work, while living at home here in Shiloh.

So I would just hate to be in the shoes of those three lovely families who are waiting almost two weeks already for their sons, brothers, nephews, grandson’s etc. to be released by terrorists and allowed home to continue their ordinary lives.

We’ve been living in Shiloh for almost thirty-three years, and from that first year until my fourth child finished junior high school over fourteen years later, there was usually at least one who was commuting daily. Not only was this before the days of cellphones, but for the first year we lived in Shiloh, we didn’t have a phone in the house and for the first few months there wasn’t even one in the neighborhood.  Talk about isolation…. As busy as I was as a mother of young children and working at various outside jobs I’d be counting the minutes, then the seconds until their expected returns home. If the expected time had passed, I’d begin to panic. I certainly never would have needed colonic irrigation during those years.

My joy and relief at children’s safe return was like the daily dropping of the “New Year’s Ball” at Times Square. A safe uneventful trip was not something I or my children could take for granted. My kids experienced traffic accidents and terror attacks. Sometimes the stories were even humorous, but most of the delays had more unpleasant reasons.

More than once I’d find myself contacting security to ascertain if it was known where the vehicle transporting them could be. Just before cellphones became the norm, there was a communications service, Kesher Binyamin, in which members had an open speaker from which they heard announcements and could verbally answer. One evening a couple of hours after I had expected my daughter’s return, I called her employer who confirmed that she had left on time, so I contacted security.  They sent out an alert asking if anyone had seen her. That’s how we tracked her down. The car’s driver had done a couple of mitzvot and errands on the way home which was the reason for the delay. Once I knew she was safe, I, and my kishkes, could calm down.

Another time, my son wasn’t home long after he should have been from junior high school in Beit El. I saw the neighbor’s son home. He didn’t remember if mine was on the school bus, so I ran over to other neighbors to ask what to do and see if their son had seen him.  That’s where I found my son; he was watching tv with his friend. After getting off the bus, he went there to bring the homework assignment to his friend who hadn’t been in school that day. My neighbors apologized profusely for not realizing that he hadn’t been home yet.

Baruch Hashem, thank G-d, my stories all end happily. Let’s all pray that there will be safe and happy returns home for Gilad Michael Ben Bat Galim, Yaccov Naftali Ben Rachel Devora and Eyal ben Iris Teshura.

Visit Shiloh Musings.  / Batya Medad

About the Author: Batya Medad blogs at Shiloh Musings.

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

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