Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Paradox

I was going to write a post titled "Typical Male" as hubby has managed to pull off miluim (reserve duty) until erev Pesach. Yup, he has done what every Jewish male dreams of - he got out of Pesach cleaning. Despite promises to do a few rooms before his departure, I dropped him off Sunday morning and he won't be home for 2.5 weeks. I was prepared to rant and rave about male foibles but a phone call changed that.

Hubby called, I assumed, to say hello. We speak 4 or 5 times a day when he is gone, as well as sending numerous text messages. I figured this was my evening phone call, which precedes the good night phone call. After we chatted for a moment, hubby asked me to turn on the news. He told me that there had been a terrorist attack right near his base and he wanted some details. Interestingly enough, he knew far more than I did, as the attack had not yet been publicized and none of news channels or internet sites.

Suddenly, I heard shouting in the background and hubby said, "I've got to go" and hung up. Now, logic told me that since he's a sergeant, he has a position of responsibility which would entail reinforcing the local yishuvim and setting up impromptu roadbloacks and securing the perimeter. But the little voice in my gut began to whimper as the sting of worry settled in my throat.

I'm no stranger to having loved ones in the army. My twin brother just finished three years of active duty a month ago, and my little brother was just conscripted two weeks ago. There were many mornings where I would be woken with a phone call from one of my parents, telling me to look in the paper, my brother's unit had been involved in a dangerous operation the night before. There was the ambush in Gaza a few years ago where 6 of his friends where killed when an armored personel carrier rolled over a serious amount of explosives set in ambush. I've been to funerals of friend's siblings and said more tehillim than I can remember. Last year's miluim entailed courageous acts carried out while I was blissfully asleep, and was regaled with by hubby the following morning (like the idiot army truck driver who accidentaly entered Ramallah and hubby's unit had to go get him before the locals did). This time I knew the exact moment that hubby was involved.

I've dealt with the danger in past years by not thinking about it. Worrying does little good, and I'm one of those who turns to chocolate and Ben & Jerry's to deal with stress, which does me little good. But it's at a stage where I can't go to sleep until I hear my husband's voice, telling me that everything is ok, he's fine and they are doing basic security in the area.

I am incredibly proud of my husband. Proud of the fact that he moved here based on ideological convictions, proud that those convictions have strengthened with the years, proud that he served in the army for a year and proud that he continues to serve our country. He enjoys miluim, the camraderie, the feeling of actively doing something for Israel, the M16... seriously, he doesn't dread it the way many do. But right now, I wish he was here, safe with me and not putting himself in danger to make sure others are safe. I am involved in the most selfish desires right now, I don't care about the other innocent civilians he's protecting, I know I would hate every one of them if anything happened to him. But that's life here in Israel. I am so proud of hubby, even if that pride has a price, one which I resent and refues to acknowledge for the most part.

I pray to G-d that I will never know.


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