I wasn't going to post a Ruby Tuesday shot today. I've got a shot, a good one I think, but my heart and mind are not on photography today..
Even for those of us living in the safety of the center of the country the war has a way of intruding into the smallest most unexpected of places..
Today it intruded into my life in one of those unforeseeable ways..
My friend's husband died Sunday night. He was ill, though a sad loss it was not entirely unexpected. Even in wartime people still get sick, and sometimes die. This particular couple though lived in Ashdod, a coastal city in the South of Israel, a city where the bombs have been falling. This is the friend whose neighbor's home was hit. The funeral is today. And it is in Ashdod, as it should be for a family that has long since made this city their home..
And I need to go there..
This is a couple I care about. One I've known for many years. I need to be there to support my friend in her time of loss..
I spent most of yesterday weighing the pros and cons. I'm not going to repeat them here, you can fill in the blanks yourselves. At the end of the day though, I feel I have to go. Many of my friends will be there too, I won't be alone. I won't even have to drive there alone, something that really frightened me (what if there's a siren and I'm lost in Ashdod and don't know where to go?). It's been quiet there the past two days, relatively speaking. Schools in the south are gradually reopening (they've been closed since Hannukah), at least the ones with bomb shelters and fortified rooms to use as classrooms. (So different from the Hamas who are storing their weapons in schools. We're using ours to shelter our children.)
I thought of going instead to her home later in the week for the shiva (mourning period), but I decided that seeing that bombed out building right across the street would be too immediate a reminder for me, more than I was ready to handle..
So I'm going today. We're going to go in, attend the funeral (held at graveside here in Israel), and get out again. The overwhelming likelihood is that nothing will happen and it will all be just fine..
But still. I can't help but be afraid. Afraid to go in, and at the same time guilty that I have the luxury of making that decision. My own home is not under attack. I can leave any time. So many others, on both sides, cannot..
So yes, the war has a way of intruding, even where you least expect it.
While I'm gone this afternoon I will leave you with this reminder of a happier, quieter time - this detail of a pillow cover I had made from fabric I brought back from Thailand years ago. I believe it was meant to be a skirt, though I used it as a table runner for many years before having it made into two pillow covers.
Update: I'm back home. It was a beautiful, quiet afternoon in Ashdod, and indeed my friend received great comfort from the large numbers of people who turned out to bid her husband farewell.