Why am I depressed over a canceled trip?

Just 12 hours ago I was stomping around my bedroom looking for the charger for my Israel cellphone and wondering where I’d get a replacement battery since it doesn’t seem to be holding a charge.  I’d packed my noise cancelling headphones and seat-belt extender, tissues and reading glasses, and thought about what book I’d bring to read on the plane, and counted out my shekels.  Here I come, Israel, or so I thought.

Just a few minutes ago I received a voice message in Hebrew that I assumed was from El Al.  Rather than that call being a reminder about my flight, a few minutes later a call in English explained that my flight was canceled.  “Would you be interested in flying today,” she wants to know, in a few hours, from an airport far from home?  “No,” I told her, “I couldn’t get to JFK in time.  It’s best that I cancel the entire 4-day trip.”  Yes, 4 days.

As the thought of cancellation sank in, I sagged in my desk chair.  Why?  I have been to Israel 5 times in the past year including a summer trip to celebrate our oldest grandchild’s bat mitzvah and a week in November to celebrate Thanksgiving American-style with my son and his family.  I communicate with my grandchildren in Jerusalem via FaceTime, and by telephone several times a week.  And I’m in regular email contact with others.

I’m an adult, and stuff happens. So, why the funk?

I guess I’ll never forget the first time a cab driver wished me a Shabbat shalom after he just overcharged me on the fare, or watched as an Egged bus moved up King George Street with a destination sign that said chag Purim sameach, or the Chanukah decorations hanging from every light pole, and the sight of hundreds of Chanukah menorahs proclaiming a miracle that took place more than 2,000 years ago being displayed outside for all to see.

A lot of firsts, yes, but I’m still excited when a cabbie says Shabbat shalom or a kippah-clad bus driver takes my 10 shekel coin for the fare and puts those useless agorot in my hand as I reach for the ticket with the other and struggle to keep my balance as the bus starts moving.

Maybe it’s those sights, feelings and memories that I miss so much.  Or maybe I have come to realize, as others now will, that Israel is our home no matter where we may temporarily reside.

I guess I miss being home.

About the Author
Stephen M. Flatow is the father of Alisa Flatow who was murdered by Iranian sponsored Palestinian terrorists in April 1995 and the author of "A Father's Story: My Fight For Justice Against Iranian Terror" available from Devon Square Press and on Kindle.