October 19, 2018

What Is Normal and I How Do I Get Back To It?

For the most part, I have forgotten what normal life is. Being able to go about your day to day activities without the nagging worry and sadness in the recesses of your mind seems like a far fetched dream. 

Those of us, who over the past month have managed to forget our worries, fears and sadness for a few minutes are the lucky ones. We're the ones who don't personally know any of the 64 soldiers or 4 civilians who have been killed, or any of the hundreds who've been injured, some with life changing injuries such as amputations and sight loss.

Yet the surreal feeling of living on egg shells never leaves. 

Three days ago, on Tisha B'Av a 72 hour ceasefire went into effect and Israel withdrew its ground troops from Gaza. Wednesday morning after a day of sorely needed quiet, many reserve troops were released and many others soldiers finally got to go home for a few days of much needed rest. The headlines were “Chazarah La'Shigra”. Literally translated as “Back to The Normal Routine”, loosely translated as “Back to Normal”.

“Really? Back to normal??”  I wondered in my head. And as weird as it sounded, every passing hour without a rocket alert lulled me a little bit more into complacency. Until something happened. Like the two terror attacks in Jerusalem; one a tractor operator ramming into a bus on purpose, toppling it and killing a pedestrian, another a stabbing of a soldier at a bus stop. Or another anti-semitic attack in one of the countless places around the globe that they have been happening.

Then a few more hours passed and I found myself slowly ungluing myself from the television and news. I found myself tentatively planning. I found myself putting up inane ordinary Facebook statuses and fewer serious news related items.

It seemed real and unreal at the same time. I knew the false sense of security wouldn't last. All of us knew it. We don't have a willing peace partner in Hamas so how can we believe or hope that anything ever going to change?

And even before the 72 hour ceasefire was over, the rockets starting flying again. Israel waited and waited some more, until it started to return fire on launch targets. I'm hoping against hope that our troops won't have to go back into Gaza. I am praying that Israel really did destroy all the terror tunnels leading from Gaza into Israel. I am praying that the riots Hamas has called for today in Judea & Samaria don't come into fruition.

Today the rockets haven't yet come close to me but I know it's only a matter of time until our red alert sirens start blaring too.

So now I need to get back to my Shabbat cooking and try to finish it before a siren sounds and makes me run to my safe room and leave my food mid-cooking. I don't want this reality to be my new normal but the longer it goes on, the more unlikely that I can return to my pre-war normal.

Can anyone? Because truthfully, I don't know what normal is anymore. To me right now, normal looks like the world gone mad.

Susie (Newday) Mayerfeld is a happily married American born, Israeli mother of 5. She is an oncology nurse, blogger and an avid amauter photographer. Mostly she just wants to live in peace and spread kindness and love. You can find her on her blog New Day New Lesson or on World Moms Blog.