Packing and the Winds of War

Photo Credit: Zimra Vigoda
Packing and the Winds of War, Photo credit: Zimra Vigoda

Every mother gets a bit nervous about traveling abroad and leaving kids at home but apparently, some more than others.

My stomach is churning.

The “situation” as we call it here is “heating up”…. again.

National election fever is in the air for the third time this year.

Last week, terrorists in Gaza released a record number of incendiary balloons, seemingly innocently floating through the air, landing in the fields and backyards of the Western Negev communities, a mere 40 kilometers from our home.

For the past couple of nights, the sounds of fighter jets passing over our home are increasingly frequent.

The sonic booms make me jump every time.

Yesterday, a Palestinian teen was killed in a demonstration. He was apparently throwing Molotov Cocktails. A Palestinian police officer was also killed.

Late last night, on a Jerusalem street, a terrorist ran down a dozen or so soldiers and this morning, another Jerusalem terror attack yielded a wounded soldier and a dead terrorist.

Event follows event. It’s beginning to be difficult keeping up with the news.

So, we wait.

Escalation? Rockets? Sirens? Or perhaps a full blown Third Intifada?

One front?

Two fronts?

I don’t know what to expect.

But, I do know that tomorrow I will be flying for a week to California with my husband and 17-year old son. It’s a relatively quick trip planned months ago. He desperately needs a new prosthetic and since his amputation in 2014, Shriners Children’s Hospital – Northern California is our only go-to prosthetic place.

I also know that I leave behind two combat soldiers, the younger stationed in one of the “hottest” areas.

Photo credit: Zimra Vigoda

I also leave behind my 12-year old daughter (with a wonderful family friend).

Photo Credit: Zimra Vigoda

Thus far, perhaps because of my usual nonchalance, my children have dealt relatively well with the sirens and rocket fire but I know that my daughter is particularly sensitive and without me, I am not sure how she will cope.

I worry.

Perhaps nothing will ensue and today’s tensions will simply dissipate though obviously for today’s dead and wounded and their mothers, it’ll already be too late.

In the meantime, we continue living.

I prepare for our trip as if nothing is happening; purchasing travel insurance, packing, finding the passports, checking in to the flights.

And so, my friend, what goes through your mind as you prepare for a short trip?

About the Author
Zimra was born in Budapest and grew up in New York City. She immigrated to Israel in 1994 and for the past two decades has worked with diverse for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Currently, she serves as a resource development expert on the Civics and Shared Education team at the Center for Educational Technology (CET) in Tel Aviv. Zimra is mother to 4 children, ages 12 to 21. Inspired by her 16-year old son Amit, a lower limb amputee, she is passionate about competitive wheelchair basketball and spends much of her free time rooting for her favorite teams. Today, she and her family are living in the Negev.
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