Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Last Candle

Years ago...when I first started this journey of being a soldier's mother, I don't, that's not right...I knew, I knew that it would be something that would change my life and the life of my family. What I didn't know was how hard or scary it would be. But I also didn't know about the joys along the way.

Months into Elie's first year, I found myself with a married daughter and a soldier son away for the Hanukah celebrations.  Hanukah is the Festival of Lights and for seven nights we had lit the candles, sometimes together and sometimes not. The last day, I wanted to do something special with the three children who were still in the house.

My youngest asked to go to the shore - cold even in Israel, I hesitated and then I decided that you only live once.

We packed towels and extra clothes, even though I told them the water would be too cold. We packed sandwiches and drinks, and I took my camera.

As they ran free in our land in a way we can never be so free anywhere else, I took pictures. And later, when I came home, I looked at the pictures, at the awe in her body as she watched the sea.

I saw my children playing on the shores of the Mediterranean sea on a perfect, clear day and knew that I had been granted a miracle, a dream come true. I knew that as hard as it was to have a son fighting to defend our borders, it was ultimately, what we had raised him towards - that and the beyond. That is what it felt like my daughter was looking into - beyond the horizon - to a day like this one, almost 10 years later. Where I would be sitting here in my home, hearing Elie's child talking to her mother, having my youngest who was 7 then, be about to turn 17 now.

That day, when I returned home, I wrote a blog post that remains one of my favorites of over 2,000 posts I have made over what will soon be a decade of being a soldier's mother. Tonight as we lit the last candle, I remember the post that I wrote, A Candle and a Wave. It was very special (if you can, please take the time to click and read it).

I'll get to the "wow, it's been 10 years" post in a very few months. But for now, I'll tell you some amazing news. Shmulik and his wife had a baby boy. Mother and beautiful child are both doing very well and I'm so grateful to be part of watching their family grow.

David is enjoying the last few weeks of an extended vacation the army gives to Hesder boys (not really a vacation because they are in yeshiva most of the time, but freedom from so much).

So, on the last day, I wish you miracles. Hanukah is the time of miracles, when a candle that should have burned for just one day, burned for eight; when a nation that should have been defeated, was victorious. Miracles are the norm, my oldest daughter tells me, and so now is the time that we are allowed to pray for miracles.

So, I wish you miracles - you and me, our family and friends. My family was blessed this Hanukah with a little miracle. Tomorrow, we will know his name, as he is welcomed into the nation of Israel and the covenant that we have with our God.

May God grant Israel the miracle of peace, in our homes, in our families, in our communities, and cities and countries.

May God watch over Shmulik's little baby and grant him a long and healthy and happy life, filled with miracles.

May God watch over my two older amazing grandsons and my precious granddaughter, my children, born and adopted and married in, and grant them all miracles.


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