Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Darned Roller Coaster

Years and years ago, I realized that life as a soldier's mother is very much like a roller coaster. You travel along the path and suddenly, the bottom falls out below you and you feel yourself falling. Your stomach gets tight, your heart is filled with fear, pain, something.

It hasn't happened to me in a long time. I'm calmer these days. I should be. Three boys in the army, I should be able to see ahead and anticipate the dips and the climbs and relish the flat areas. If only...

A few hours ago, a tank overturned. One soldier, 20-year-old Ido Ben-Ari who was the tank commander, was killed in the accident, three other soldiers were lightly wounded. I never thought to make a connection, but Elie did. I went to YNET to see the news and read this...
The accident happened at around 1 a.m. on Mount Shifon in the northern Golan Heights during a wide-scale training exercise that included Ben-Ari's tank brigade as well as the Givati Brigade and its engineering forces.
I don't know exactly where Davidi is training, but I know enough now to know that he was in the same place. Thankfully, his group had finished its job and returned to base a short time before the tank flipped over. He wasn't there to see it. But that knowledge only came in the last few minutes.

Before that, I understood that he was likely there and my stomach rolled and my eyes filled with tears. I knew he wasn't hurt, or I should say my head knew that. My heart just hurts. So much sorrow today - the fires burning our land and now a soldier lost.

Ido was 20 years is my Davidi. He's smiling and so beautiful in this picture, Ido is. Ido was. I cannot fathom the pain his family must be in. The news says his father was in the tank division. How does a family cope with such a loss?

It's been so long since the bottom fell out of my world, it's hard to remember how I coped with it. For now, I sit here looking at Ido's picture, at that horrible tank that turned over. I think of Ido's mother and father and the tears stream down my face.

I can't wait for Davidi to come home later today. He's hours and hours away. I am fighting the urge to drive up there just to grab him and bring him home. Later, I'll fight the urge to grab him and never let him go.

May God bless the memory of Ido Ben-Ari and welcome him to the heavens as a son of our people, as someone who chose to defend this land and sacrificed all. Please God, send comfort to his family and help them in this horrible, horrible time. Let them know only love and joy from this day forward. Let them know that all of Israel mourns with them, cries for the loss of Ido.

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