Wounds of a Mother
by Molly Livingstone
Listening to a mother screaming for her child. That’s when I lost it. I mean I lost it before that too. The first stabbing. The first death. But, when two brothers decide to go on a killing rampage and attack a 13-year-old on his bike. Stabbing him a dozen times. Well, then you don’t just lose it, you go past the place of fear and become numb.
Numb, so you can go pick up your own children and keep a smile on your face. Numb, because you have to remember to bring your keys, your phone and your pepper spray. Numb, to stay alert, that maybe you’re next. Or, your children. So you hold yourself together, because that is the hug you need.
But then you go on Facebook. And there are more stabbings. There are friends asking you to pray for their friends. There are videos that suddenly play without your permission and you are forced to watch a brutal scene in the part of town you just walked by yesterday. Worst of all, you dare to view another mother screaming for her child, her baby, in the hospital. Collapsed on the floor, she has lost her mind. And when you’re viewing this, you know you have lost your mind too.
There are so many things I want you to know about this intifada. I want you to know that these are terrorists that are killing innocent people. They are not killing because of land. Or for better rights. They are killing, because we are here. We are here to be killed. We are Jews.
I want you to know that I hate violence and terrorism, but as a mother, a part of me still wants to understand these young terrorists and some how fix them. Even though you think I can’t, I just want to try. I want them to know they can have a future. A life.
I need you to know that hatred is like a flower, if you water it, it will grow. The hate is everywhere, and growing in everyone. I hate the terrorists. I hate the violence. I hate the silence of the Arabs that don’t agree with the intifada but they themselves are too scared to speak out. I hate the noise. The helicopters that fly over my house all night, carrying out operations, to find more terrorists before they can terrorize.
I read the news. The international news doesn’t cover most of the stories. And if they do, the headline is so twisted, you would think the knife flew there on Aladdin’s carpet. The story makes the martyr the victim. And the actual victims are barely mentioned. Like some how their lives are not equivalent. I read the news, and ask myself, is it satire? How does this journalist feel, writing such biased and misinformed articles? Do people reading it, know the truth?
You can’t stay numb for long in Israel. Because there will be another attack. But there will also be another blessing.
My friend gave birth to a beautiful little boy, and just like that, in the same hospital where one child is dying of his wounds, another child is living to heal them. There will be weddings. There will be smiles. There will be more. More of everything. So you move from numb, and you hit refresh, and you continue.
I chat with the gardener about his plants. He is arab from the village next door. We don’t speak of the terror, but he can see the fear in my eyes. I don’t think he will hurt me. But he knows that I think someone from his village will. And he doesn’t think that I will hurt him. But he’s worried that he will lose his job or be called names in the street for who he is. But we still speak, because we are both trying to hold on to what is normal.
Writing keeps us connected. To each other. To our feelings. To the things that matter. I encourage you to write a letter today, to the victims of terror. Your words of encouragement will help them to rehabilitate their lives, physically and emotionally. Victims of terror, include the families, like the mother who sits on the hospital floor praying for her child to return to her safely. We are all family. We all feel the loss. We all want to help. We can all write a letter.
When I wrote this post, I had just finished. And suddenly I heard a siren. I paused to listen. There were more. And more. And more. And they were going the direction of my son’s school. So I screamed. And I called anyone I could think of to help me. Then I heard shots fired. I screamed more. Please anyone help me. Help my children.
Then the first text. A shooting near their school. Their school has one guard. The nearby school doesn’t have any. The schools went on strike and they were promised security but no one came. Then they said, the rule is only schools with 100 kids get security. So no security for most of the daycares in the neighborhood. Even though we are surrounded by five arab villages. And even though most of the terrorists have come out of one of the villages. And even though they have been rioting, since last summer’s war. And even though they have thrown firebombs on the homes day in and day out.
And now, like the mother I wrote about just minutes ago. I am screaming on the floor, waiting to hold my babies again. The sirens have gone. All that is left is the ringing bell of a nearby school. Where children aren’t learning about math or science, but about the cruelty and evil of life.
Who will read about my trauma or their scares in the newspaper? Online? Will they talk about the eight critically injured victims? The terrorists shot them, stabbed them, tried to hijack the bus and kill more. Will anyone read it? Will they even care? Will anything change?