Return to Health and Responsibility

Elie’s back – healthy and whole. I keep looking at him to see if he seems feverish or weak. I’m getting to understand that this was probably more traumatic an experience for me than it was for Elie. He was sick…he had fever…he doesn’t have fever…he’s fine.

He’s back to eating whatever he finds, back to wanting to drive and run errands. He’s back to ordering his brother to clean the bathroom, his sister to put her backpack away NOW.

He returns to the army tomorrow. There is no reason for him to go tonight and get an extension and “they need me on base.”

He has learned that two other soldiers were sent home with high fevers, developed around the same time he became sick. The unit medic thinks all of this was a reaction to the regular flu shot given to the soldiers.

Elie explained the concept…who do you give flu shots to? He asked me and then proceeded to answer. The weak and most susceptible, and those whom you need to run the country. The doctors and nurses, perhaps the teachers, and, as Elie pointed out, the army.

What would happen if the army was needed to fight a battle, and flu raged among its ranks?

What indeed. Yes, Elie is correct. The army has already given the soldiers vaccinations against the regular flu and has now begun vaccinating against swine flu. Elie returns to base with no fever, a cough that is still a bit worrisome, but a spirit returned.

He kept changing the radio to his favorite stations on the drive in, gave me my obligatory kiss when he left to catch his bus up north. I’m…missing the word that describes how I feel – melancholy, fanciful though that sounds.

I’m do grateful he’s healthy, worried that he should have waited a bit longer, sad to see him go, happy he’s returning. Yes, a bundle of emotions…

Yesterday, the IDF confirmed that almost all of Israel is within missile range of Hezbollah rockets – including Jerusalem. Today, the sun is shining, the sky clear and beautiful. The buildings of Jerusalem shimmer with their golden beauty…Israel remains today, as it was yesterday and it will be tomorrow.

Last week, Israel’s navy intercepted a ship carrying 500 tons of ammunition, thousands of rockets and more from Iran to Hezbollah. A rocket was fired at Shderot the other day, knives and explosives found.

Yes, melancholy is a good word.

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