This morning, as I washed my face, I thought I heard the “Color Red” alarm. It was a bit far, and I wasn’t sure that I heard well, but the sounds of explosions made me realize that my ears hadn’t failed me.
I’m home alone, as my husband just left to drive our son to the train station in Sderot. Should I call him? Should I project my fears onto him and our son?
But the bombing doesn’t stop. I count 15-20 rockets, what is going on? Is the war starting again?
Then I start trying to convince myself it’s not real: so many explosions, it must be the “Iron Dome” intercepting; they can’t possibly fire so many rockets without an IDF response.
It has been almost four years since the last war with Gaza. Are we going to have another war this summer? Are we mentally prepared for that? I know (or at least I believe) that I can trust the IDF to defend us, but what about the mental health of all of us? We are still trying to get over the summer of 2014.
And the thoughts continue with a bit of dark humor – at least they waited a week, allowing us to bury my mother last week in Nahal Oz, just 500 meters from the Gaza border, and finish the last day of the shiva mourning week quietly. During the funeral last week, with around 200 people at the graveyard, I couldn’t focus 100% on my mom, as I was worried the entire time that a burning kite would appear in the sky or a rocket would fall nearby.
A few minutes later this morning, I’ve started to receive WhatsApp messages informing me of what happened and letting us know that we can go back to routine. The school buses waited a few minutes before continuing their route to school, while I have to go to work and act as everything is normal, work as if we had a normal morning, continue with the meetings, the daily activities, and just go on with our life.
Can anyone suggest how I am supposed to continue the day / week / life when the summer is getting closer and so is the fear of the next war? I guess that is the meaning of living under terror. It’s not necessarily the attacks themselves, but the fear of what will happen next.
Noga Gulst lives on Kibbutz Mefalsim, near the Gaza Strip.