Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Pictures I Never Want to See

I saw a post on Facebook...and it made me cry. Tears are pretty close today. It's so so hot outside. Elie is up north in training, but to be honest, I'm thinking less of him than I am of Davidi. He is down south...in the desert. He's being tested - nightmare week of sleepless nights, pushed to the edge of his abilities with the clear instructions that he is to "keep on going."

I'm sick with worry. He's probably having the time of his life - and I'm so scared I'll get a phone call saying he's been hurt or he's collapsed from heat or lack of water, or...so many other things.

So with all of this on my head, I saw this post. A Facebook friend's aunt passed away. She had raised her only child, Gilad, alone and then, he was killed in fighting on the first day of the Yom Kippur War. Like Sandy, Gilad was a talented musician. The beautiful song in the video below was written by  Stuart Kabak and adapted by Sandy to honor Gilad after his mother gave her the guitar after his death.

As she sings in the video, there are pictures of Gilad. It's like that in death here. When a soldier dies, his friends and fellow soldiers bring all these pictures to the family. Notes he wrote and things he made. Stories of what they all did together, all this comes to the family in the weeks after the tragedy that took their son (or daughter) from them.

The family gathers them like the most precious pearls and cherishes them forever. These are the pictures I never want to see, I thought as I watched the video. The smiling face that is smiling no longer.

It's a bit different nowadays with Facebook, and we live in a generation that barely prints the pictures anymore. I look at Gilad, and am happy that Sandy and her music bring Gilad to life more than 40 years after he died. I look at Gilad and pray that I no one ever brings me the pictures I never want to see.

May Gilad's memory be blessed and may the God of Israel watch over my sons this hot day and bring them home soon - safe, healthy, hydrated, happy, not too tired, not too burned, not too thirsty...

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