This is my home and I will not leave.
It was a bit alarming that there was a ship and plane taking American citizens away from this war zone. If you were on that ship or plane, I do not judge. You are no less my people because you made the decision right for you.
But for me, how can I possibly leave my home? Where else can I go where I belong? I have nowhere else. This is my home. For better or worse, I will stay.
Will I regret my decision? Hindsight is 20/20. If it’ll cause my family harm, then yes.
Will my family suffer by staying? Absolutely.
My kids will grow up fearing rockets and sirens. One day they’ll hear a boom and be reminded of a rocket attack from this war. They’ll hear a far off wailing and their heart will skip a beat thinking it’s a siren. They’ll hear an engine and think of the planes flying low, off to attack their enemy. They will honor and respect soldiers, knowing they are protecting us from our enemies. They will have a relationship with death – either fearing it or feeling comfortable with it – but they will hear of it often.
They will also value life. They will value their community. They will know, really know, that whenever they are in need, the warmth and love from a neighbor will be there. They will learn the deep value of giving and sharing and being there for others in their time of need. They will learn to value the good in life.
Will my family suffer if I leave? Absolutely.
They will wonder where they’re from. They will have a sense that they don’t quite belong. They’ll have an inexplicable longing for their home and their people. They will have parents filled with longing and regret.
So I am staying. This is my home. These are my people.