Carol Green Ungar

Smiling in the bomb shelter

I’m just coming off of a missile attack, my third in four days. This one was a surprise–well are’nt they all suprises. No one ever really expects them and after two consecutive attacks both roughly timed to hit the evening news we had one night off which caused me to forget about missiles entirely until this latest missile.  It hit in early evening as I was making my way from the grocery store to my home.

As I was making my way home, about a three minute walk under normal circumstances, I saw  a friend shlepping a shopping cart laden with purchases. Amazingly  our town grocery allows customers to take carts home and bring them back. Even so dragging a grocery cart on asphalt is tough, especially for a tiny woman of a certain age. The wheels lock and the cart, weighted down with purchases is nearly impossible to steer. I would have never attempted it and if I had I would have probably been in  tears. But my friend, struggling as she was was smiling.

“No point getting upset, “; she said, and then she giggled.  I gave her a hand and just as I loaded her groceries into her building the siren started. At first it was low, like a passing ambulance but it  quickly grew louder I followed my friend into the shelter. I was trembling–those siren feel like electric shocks poised at my heart but my friend was smiling.

“You have to laugh, its the only way.”she said.  Maybe it was the karma of her buildign because  the neighbors all seemed preternaturally cheerful. . “Good thing we’re get to meet here. other wiise I”d never see you.”said one.

In the background we heard the sound of something exploding, which we interpreted as  the boom as the iron dome interceptor swallowed the missile. Everybody as calm. Nobody seemed afraid and the atmosphere was, dare I say it, cheerful. which is quite remarkable.

My friend and her neighbor could have chosen despair. They could have chosen sadness but they have faith that it is G-d and not the warriors, missile manufacturers or the politicians who are really in charge. That somewhere in this madness, there is meaning, that this situation as crazy as it is is taking us to some better place. And if you really believe that then you can smile, even in a bomb shelter.

About the Author
Carol Ungar is a prize-winning author who writes from the Judean Hills.