Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Personal Reflection on The War

I started a post about the reasons for the war, but I still have too much of a headache to deal with that right now. So... if you're looking for a political kind of post, either move on to another blog or come back tomorrow (hopefully, I'll be feeling better by then). Today, I just want to blog about my personal feelings regarding this war. What an average thirtysomething old Israeli mom is feeling right now, for what it's worth. Be warned, I am recovering frm a migraine, so not very focused and bound to ramble...

I returned home today with my two kids. We spent the night in the Golan Heights visiting my husband. He managed to get a few hours away from base and came over to spend the night with us in the Kibbutz where we stayed. We all slept there in his brother's family's home. The original plan was to spend the night in one of the nice B&B units they have on the Kibbutz, but these were all taken up by I guess should be called Israeli refugees, though we call them evacuees.

Anyhow, I had this migraine coming up from yesterday morning. My special painkillers (designed for horses, no less) helped to some extent and saved me from a full blown migraine, but I just had this throbbing pain in my head, some nausea and a dry mouth (a side effect of the painkillers), all of which meant I was just lying there awake, through out the night listening to the constant artillery shells shooting from our side of the borders into Lebanon. It made me think about this whole absurd situation that we have landed in.

I was born in 1972. When I was just over one year old, the '73 war broke out and my dad was called into his reserve post. He stayed there for many weeks, until the war was over. I grew up with the story of how they took me and drove with me, as a baby, to see dad at the post, because he couldn't return home. Yesterday, thirty four years later, I was doing the same thing with my children. Taking them to see their dad posted away in an actual war.

See, this may come as a surprise to some people who live outside of Israel, but for my generation the early thirty-something people, this is our first actual war. We were way too young to remember the big war of '73. The first Lebanon war is a vague memory - all I recall is that the TV kept showing our soldiers from the front saying hi to their moms and wives back home. And then they started getting killed and everyone was real sad. I was 10 back then. Then it turned into this war of attrition that lasted a long while, but no longer effected our daily lives. Then, there's the Gulf War in '91. Exciting times, no doubt. I could write a whole post about my memories from back then, sirens, sealed rooms, gas masks. Huge fun (not). Very scary. But that wasn't really our war. It was far away from here, and while our lives were disrupted to the limit, it was still America's war - not ours.

This one is different now. It was very sudden and unpredicted (at least for us civilians - not sure what our intelligence services predicted). It started out as this massive katyusha attacks on the norther border towns, breaking six peaceful years there. It was disappointing, but we still didn't realize just how bad this is going to be. I mean, it has happened before, rockets on our northern border, but it usually stopped after a day or two. This time, it went on, then intensified, then increased in range to cover a major city like Haifa.

Next thing I know, I was sitting with a tired husband (a military man) in our living room, and he got this phone call telling him he is now officially called in for his reserve post (different then his regular one at times of peace). When I saw him pack his bag for a long stay, not knowing when he'll be back, then it hit me. We're at war. A real war. Like the ones my parents went through when I was a baby. Like the one we grew up being told will never happen again. That kind of war, where they call in the army and young soldiers get killed daily.

Seeing my husband again yesterday, in field uniform, tired, carrying an M-16, hugging our children and drinking in those few precious hours we had together brought about these thoughts. Sitting there with him, on a mound of earth, just outside the base where he was positioned, listening to the artillery thundering in the background and explaning to our kids what the racket was all about, why daddy has to carry a gun, and most of all, why he's not coming back home anytime soon... I guess to some people this may seem like what they had assumed was a natural Israeli existence. Let me tell you it is very much not the case.

Until two weeks ago, when that Shi'ite guy with the funny hat went crazy, we lived a perfectly normal life. I used to nag my husband everyday to come back home early, cause the kids need to see him. When he would say he was busy at work, I would reply curtly, "please, what's the big deal? is there a war going on?" lol, he reminded me of this last night, when we were lying in bed together, whispering to each other, not to wake up the kids sleeping on matresses next to us. Yup, there's a war going on.


steve said...

Well stated, Annette. Your feelings come forward very clearly and mine join yours in your time of anxiety and even, I guess, some despair. Let's hope your husband makes it back with no ill effects and that this dam thing gets settled soon. Shalom.

Jean said...

Hey Annette,

if there's a person reading your post who can understand what you're going through, it is me.
You know by now, that we both are going through a (personal) difficult, not to say cruel situation.

And it pains me to think that our respective situation is far from being an isolated case, or even close to being the worse.

War sucks. unfortunately, we both know that through our personal experiences.

It just sickens me to think that there are people doing this for "God", or for the "glory of the all mighty".

I even read a post yesterday where a guy was picturing Jesus leading the muslims to throw the jews into the sea.

Human stupidity has no limits, and is far more dangerous than any war machine.
But that's another subject.

Stay safe (sad to have to say that at the end of every post, instead of saying have fun, or catch you later).


Anonymous said...

You have really put it in perspective. I've experienced war to some extent, but not on my home soil. It seems no matter where your military spouse is, the separation is...well I just can't describe it. I can't imagine being so close to my husband, yet so far apart. I'm so glad you were able to spend that time together. My prayers are still with you. Shalom.