As I Lay Me Down to Sleep…And As I Awaken

Last Night…

Two sons are safe in their apartments with their wives; my 18-year-old son is safe, asleep in his bedroom upstairs. Never, ever take that for granted. Never forget that there are three mothers who can’t say that; who don’t have that feeling that all is well with the world.

Sleep is difficult for so many in Israel tonight. One friend wrote me earlier that her entire house shook when a rocket came slamming into Israel earlier in the evening. The south is not resting well tonight.

Several of my friends are writing that they can’t sleep at night; their minds are so consumed with worry and anxiety. A short time ago, I heard that the US is urging Israel to show restraint as we search for the boys. What right do they have to urge us to show restraint?

Please God, please bring home Naftali, Eyal, and Gilad safe and well and fast…please.

And this morning…

We begin day 7. Last Thursday night, I had done my shopping for the week, the chicken was in the oven and I was debating whether to stay awake and do a bit more, or go to sleep and start early. I decided to go to sleep and work to the news that there had been a kidnapping. Two boys…and then news they had been released…but still no announcement. Then news there was a third boy missing…and still nothing. The army asked people to stop guessing and wait. We waited.

On Facebook, there was talk of an announcement coming soon – it was expected to be good news. The boys were found safely and more – five terrorists were killed. The announcement came – stop guessing. Three are missing, likely kidnapped. Rumors of dead terrorists not true.

It’s been a week and as expected from a society that has waged psychological warfare for so long, not a single word telling us how the boys are doing. Not a note to their family. Nothing. This is what they have done to us so many times.

How dare people compare this to our holding Palestinian prisoners. There is so much wrong with that statement and perhaps worst of all, it often comes from Israelis and Jews. So first – without question, our boys were doing nothing illegal. That’s right – they were not throwing stones or firebombs…they weren’t even close to an instance such as this.

They were never suspected, never mind tried and convicted, for any terrorist activities – not even supporting such activity in subtle ways.

Day 7 – for a mother who is missing her son, it has been a lifetime of worry and fear, all packed into one week. The army is acting…but for all that it is cleaning out places filled with weapons (and we have seen the weapons caches that have been found), the boys are still missing.

The nation has cried its heart out, prayed its heart out, demanded and begged. Day 7 dawns warm and sunny in Israel – a nation determined to get its sons back.

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 her thoughts and dream of a trip to Italy, Scotland, and beyond.
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