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Preview: A Soldier's Mother

A Soldier's Mother

The Voice of One Israeli Mother

Updated: 2018-02-22T13:48:49.441+02:00


The Most Fearsome Weapon of the Jewish People - Now Revealed


Yesterday, David went back to where it began more than 2 years ago.Last week, he turned in his rifle; two days ago, he returned to his base to sign the final forms.And yesterday, finally, he returned to the induction center in Tel Hashomer and gave back his military ID. He will spend the next 10 months learning in the yeshiva, contemplating and preparing for what he will do next.He is thinking of college, of a career. Regularly, he is attending weddings of his friends and I know thoughts of his future fill his mind. He is so strong, so special. His life stretches out in front of him and I know that as it unfolds, the past two years will remain a part of the man he is and will be.What will remain of the boy he was and the man he is as he transitions into "civilian" life will be interesting. My heart is filled with joy and gratitude and I cannot begin to express the relief of looking days and months and years into the future after living for so many years trying only to think about today. Today, he is safe. Today, he will come home. Today, he goes back...but a few more todays, and he will be home again. Today. Today. Today. Now as I leave yesterday, I see the tomorrows and finally, face them without fear.I posted yesterday to Facebook the following message and got hundreds of responses. Like this blog, the post seems to have touched so many people. I can still remember that moment when I started the blog 11 years ago. The first thing that I confronted was the question of what title I would give this blog...I remember having many thoughts - about my oldest child getting married and a series of "firsts", about going through a series of lasts - last time I had a child in nursery school, in kindergarten, starting first grade. Each seemed to be a transition in life but the elements were known, the expectations more basic.And I had a son going into the Israeli army - a world of unknowns, a blend of such emotions, such turmoil. As I stared at that emtpy field, slowly an idea began to form. Of all the "usual" challenges in my life, the one that seemed to huge, so unknown...was the army. a name came to mind and I decided to begin with what I would be. A. Soldier's. Mother.Each word was significant."A" because I was one of many, even thousands, even tens of thousands. "Soldier" because that was different from any other type of mothering I had done up to that day.And "Mother" because despite all that I am, this has been a constant in my life for over 30 years now and will forever define a huge part of what I am. Yesterday, in some significant way, that identity has changed. On paper (and in my mind), I am still "a soldier's mother" but to be honest, today and for the next 18 years, I will be more a "reserve" soldier's mother and there is a world of difference.My worrying will be contained to a few days or weeks a year, and perhaps not even that. Elie goes on reserve duty, drives around the desert or the mountains, camps out, shoots a bit, and comes home...mostly.And yes, while in Reserve duty (Miluim), he was called to war and in war, it doesn't matter if your son is in Miluim or in the Standing army. But when his Miluim involves training and rarely includes staying on base over Shabbat, life seems so different and the stress so much less.For weeks now, knowing this day would come, I have been battling what I would do. I could continue this blog...but really, what more can I write (at least here). I am a writer - I have the need to write, to share my thoughts in words. That won't change. But what has changed is here, this place that I have created, and this journey on which you have joined me.In eleven years, three sons (in three different combat units) and a daughter have served (in Sherut Leumi - national service). Three have gotten married; five grandchildren have been born. We bought and sold a house, said goodbye to three beloved pets. We bought and sold a bunch of cars (don't ask me how many). I have traveled to Europe and Asia and touched every one of Israel's borders. My home has been targeted by missiles at least three [...]