I’ve been feeling…
I’ve been feeling guilty that I write about Elie more than Shmulik. There is so much to tell about Shmulik…
I’ve been feeling that I need to explain where he is more than where Elie is and yet, in the early days of this blog, days went by where there was little to write and so I didn’t. Now, as Shmulik transitions between basic training to advanced training, there is still little to write about and even less because he has more of a network of friends with which to share.
Perhaps I projected Elie’s loneliness as a way to cope myself with missing him. Perhaps he really was lonely. I can’t explain now what I was so sure I heard in his voice then. I only know that I don’t hear the same thing when I talk to Shmulik. He doesn’t sound lonely when he calls; he sounds happy. I can hear the voices in the background. A few weeks ago, I met others from his unit – they were smiling and telling me what a great person Shmulik is…he has friends and brothers there with him.
He went into the army as part of a Hesder unit. Four of the soldiers with him come from the same yeshiva as him; in total, nine boys with whom he has spent the last 18 months went in at the same time and provide their own support network.
I’m here when he calls…I’ll talk and send him messages, but it’s so different. I’m calmer this time around, more trusting, less frightened by the global situation. That last point is kind of funny because I can’t remember a time that Israel was politically so isolated. With Barack Hussein Obama in office, Israel has little support or understanding in the White House. I should be more nervous about these flotillas, about Iran, about so much and yet, knowing that the time will come soon enough when I will again be worried about where he is and what he is doing, somehow now, my heart and mind knows to rest and let the worry come when it will.
In the meantime, he called tonight and asked if we could meet him tomorrow morning to bring him some treats. Each Sunday morning, tens of thousands of soldiers return to base. In many cities, gathering points are organized. Vast parking lots filled with buses that load and take the soldiers back to bases all over the country. I have dropped both Elie and Shmulik at these places and each time, I scan the surrounding areas to confirm what I know I will see….heavy security. Soldiers strategically positioned and guarding as the others gather, organize and board the buses.
Until now, I have only watched the security and never thought where the come from, when they arrived, how long they serve there. Tomorrow, Shmulik’s unit has been assigned this task for the Jerusalem gathering location. In a few hours, long before dawn, Shmulik’s unit will board buses and travel the distance to guard the perimeter of this area.
Elie drove to a local store and picked up Coca Cola in cans, Doritos, and more. I baked brownies and put them in a large container. I wanted to drive it to Shmulik and give it to him, but Elie pointed out that with his military identification, he would be allowed inside to meet Shmulik. Although Shmulik checked with his commanding officer who said it would probably be fine for him to meet me, we can’t be sure.
So, Shmulik asked for brownies and chocolate (he is my son) and other treats to get him through the week. At least this I can do for him.