Thursday, March 6, 2008

Still it cried, “Sleep no more!” to all the house

I'll leave the politics to the blogs that thrive on it, that use it for their sustenance. Let them argue if they will about who is to blame and who needs to pay and placing fault in the Mercaz HaRav terrorist attack.

Me? I am a mother, and tonight my mother's heart is wrestling with the demonic nightmare that resides in every mother's heart, in every parent's heart. It's the one we tamp down tightly and try and hide in the furthest corners. It's the one that shows its presence when we glance anxiously at the clock and wonder why a child is late coming home. It is the one that prompts us to ask and then ask again "Where are you going? When will you be back?" It's the one that nudges at us when phones aren't answered. It's the one that allows us to take a false sigh of relief when children gets old enough to have some seichel, to negotiate the world on their own. We put on faces of calm and pray fiercely, silently, "God, watch over my child."

Tonight in Israel there are parents whose arms are flung wide, grasping for a presence that will never be there again. Tonight there are parents whose pain and suffering is so deep and so heavy that it will never be erased. Tonight there are parents who must prepare for the ultimate unnatural act: parents who will have to bury their children. Tonight the nightmare walked free for those parents.

Tonight there are parents holding anxious bedside vigils in hospitals, hoping, praying for the lives of their children. And for these parents too the nightmare is walking freely.

Tonight these parents will not sleep, for sleep has been murdered. And for all of us who are parents, sleep will not bring a surcease of worry. Tonight, for us, there will be shards in our hearts that pierce us. For those children who were murdered are children of grieving parents, and they are our children as well.

I try as best as I can to trample down the nightmare that has reared its head. I try, but I know that tonight I will make the rounds of bedrooms, counting heads. Tonight I will hand sweaters to children who are not yet cold because I am chilled through and through. Tonight I will ask "Are you sure you need to go there?" Tonight I start my conversations with God and I am choked with tears.

I do not actually know these parents in Israel, but still I know them very well. They are us. They wished and hoped for their children what we wish and hope for ours. Dear God, please, watch over them and over us as well. And keep our children safe.

May they be comforted among the mourners of Zion--HaMokom Y'nachem eschem.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for putting words out there for my feelings. The world is already debating who is to blame for the killing while parents are thrown into the deepest hell. First comfort your mourners and then go and hunt down the animals who are responsible.

Bas~Melech said...

That was so well written, it would be perfect... except it never should have been.

{This was almost a very long comment, but turned into a maybe-post instead}

Gila said...

Thank you. You said just what I was thinking.

I am hosting Haveil Havalim this week--will be linking to your post. In a electronic world where everyone seems to be focusing on politics, it is good to remember that there are people involved, and that they are more than symbols.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for giving a voice to my thoughts and feelings, a voice that I couldn't find myself.

Anonymous said...

Where is the quote from in the title? It certainly fits to the events that happened.

ProfK said...

It's from Shakespeare's Macbeth.

Batya said...

Wonderful post.
I wish it didn't have to be written.