Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Did you ever kill anyone?

I sort of did once. Not really, but despite logic, deep inside of me I believe that in some ways it's true. I carry this person with me, even though I never knew his name. I know that he was 31 years old when he died...six weeks after receiving bone marrow that I donated to him. He was doing so well. It looked like it would work and they were about to let him out of the hospital...and then he died.

Yesterday, I stopped on my way home from work at a mall. I needed to eat something; I needed the bathroom. In the Ladies' Room, I saw a large pink canvas bag sitting in one of the stalls. It's a stupid place to plant a bomb and a very logical place to forget your bag.

Then again, suicide bombers and terrorists are not known to be the brightest people in the world. So I did what I'm supposed to do. I went quickly towards where I knew there were guards. On the way, I saw a policewoman and told her.

I'm not even sure she was on duty - probably on her way home but she asked me again where it was and started to walk towards the bathroom. "Should I tell the guards?" I asked her. She told me that yes, I should, and thanked me.

I walked away with such dread, I can't begin to explain. Within seconds, I had crossed the rest of the large open area and I approached the guard and told him. I told him that the policewoman was going to check; that it was probably nothing, but who knows.

He thanked me quickly and called it in. I left the building, hearing the guard's voice on the walkies-talkies of other guards. One asked the other, "where?" and I heard a second guard answer, "women's bathroom, first floor."

I walked past them towards my car and realized two things. I was waiting for an explosion and there were tears in my eyes. It would have been my fault if something happened to that policewoman.

Of course, I didn't kill that man who had leukemia and whose only chance of life was a bone marrow transplant, but I have to live with the fact that he would probably have lived longer if the database had not found me and told me I was a perfect match.

Of course, if that bag had contained a bomb and if it had blown and if, God forbid, something had happened to the policewoman, it wouldn't have been my fault, not really. But I would have carried her with me as well.

It's hard for me to describe the feeling of dread when you fear, when you believe something is going to explode. Any minute...we have been living that way in Israel, all over Israel, for the last two weeks. The list of places that have been attacked grows longer and longer.

Jerusalem - so many times; Tel Aviv, Haifa, Raanana, Kiryat Gat, Afula...

May you never know the feeling that you caused or may cause someone's death...may you never know the feeling that something close by may explode.

May we all be blessed with peace.

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