This is how every day begins. And throughout the day it continues. It gets worse in the evening and at night. What do I do when the sirens go off? Where will I go? How quickly can I get there? Some places you have 15 seconds, some you have a minute and a half.
Life goes on. I write from Tel Aviv, Israel, where life does go on. I feel fortunate as sporadically I have gotten to see our sons who are currently serving in the Israel Defense Forces. People go to work. People go out, but for the last week the question is always there. Where do I go when the sirens go off?
It's simply a matter of planning. I go for my morning run. I'll go north along the water because there are buildings I can dodge into. I go out to lunch, but we eat inside and know this restaurant has a shelter. We drive places, but I drive faster, on a more direct route.
The other day when I was jogging and the sirens went off, I ducked into the truck delivery stalls of the Sheraton Hotel along with a dozen other runners and business people. Then, when we were about to go back to the hotel, the sirens went off. My son's girlfriend and I dashed into the hallway and stood against the metal door. Then we all continued doing what we were doing. If you're from some of the southern border cities like Sderot, unfortunately, you may be used to this. If you're from Tel Aviv, you're not, and most other places, you're not.
But Israelis do what they do best: They make the best of things. They continue with life. My cousins have been called up (reservists called back into the Army): a lawyer and father of four, a restaurant manager, a computer analyst. Our sons are in, but since they have not yet finished training, they may be better off than most. Who knows?
People accept it. They do what is necessary and they support one another. There is no greater unifier than security of one's self, family and neighbors to make people bond. As Israel waits on the brink of war, I realize how lucky I am. How easy life is. I will board a plane next week and leave. I won't have to ask at every juncture, "What will I do when the sirens go off? ", but I will leave a piece of my heart and soul here as I leave my sons and extended family to face this question, at least in the short term, on a daily basis. On the other hand, I will take back with me my vivid memories and an appreciation for the fullness of people's strength, will and compassion for life and security.
— Annette Lidawer, Highland ParkCopyright © 2015, CT Now