Sunday, December 20, 2015

He Called to Say Bye...

Yup, he did. The phone rang and I saw it was David. He'd left this morning to go back to base, telling me that he would be out of communication for the week. Last week, I didn't get any notice.

What I got was a phone call...that I missed by one minute. When I realized it was Davidi, I interrupted what I was doing and went to call him. He didn't answer because at that moment, he was taping a message explaining that they were going out to the field and the boys had to leave their phones behind.

After hearing his message, I quickly taped my own, telling him that I loved him, he should stay warm, and I'd see him Friday. By the time I released the button and the message was sending - all within minutes...I watched him go offline...and knew he wasn't going to get my message before he left. I felt like crying. I'd missed him by ONE minute...and I knew I was being silly. That I'd see him at the end of the week, and still I was so sad.

What they did was tell the boys - you're going offline - call your parents and then let's go. This time, I knew in advance. Davidi came home with stories about his past week in the field. Food was lousy - he didn't take the cookies and brownies I had sent back with him because he didn't have room, so he and his friends ate ALL of them the night they came back on base before coming home. It was cold...they got bullets for their guns and began learning how to fire them.

And each morning, the commanding officer stepped into each tent, woke one soldier and told him - you have 1 minute and 30 seconds to get yourself and the others in the tent outside and at attention. So the first day, when the commanding officer entered the tent in the early early morning hours, Davidi opened his eyes and looked at the commander...and so, the commander said, "Stern, you have 1 minute and 30 seconds."

The next day, David had learned his lesson - when the commander entered, he pretended to still be asleep, and so the commander nudged another soldier and told him, "you have 1 minute and 30 seconds."

Today, I gave him a hug and watched him get on the earliest bus heading south. I won't see him again for two silly of me to be sad, to miss him already. He looked so good, so strong. I sent him a message...that I loved him, he should stay safe and that I was so proud of him.

And then, early afternoon, the phone rang and I saw that David was calling. I answered quickly and he said, "they told me to call you to say bye bye for a week. I have two minutes and forty seconds."

"So...bye bye."

I told him I loved him, I told him to stay warm...and smiled when I closed the phone. That's Israel - they know the parents are worried and so they order the boys to call him and let the parents know. And then, to remind them they are still in the army, gave them two minutes and forty seconds to accomplish that.


Batya Medad said...

Can you imagine what it was like precellphone days?

Cindy said...

I have 3 daughters and none of them went into the service. I can't imagine. I'll pray for their safety.

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