Happy Birthday Gilad Shalit

Yesterday was Gilad Shalit’s birthday.  He turned 24, and marked his birthday by spending his fourth year in captivity.  Can any of us wrap our heads around what four years feels like?  Look at the last four years of your lives, and think of ten memorable things that have happened.

Here are ten things from the last four years in my life:

1) My son became a Bar Mitzvah.

2) My son visited Israel.

3) My brother had a daughter.

4) My son started high school.

5) I started my own company.

6) I started writing my blog.

7) I moved into a new home.

8) I became a vegetarian.

9) I adopted two cats.

10) My heart was broken.

Without giving it much thought, these are the first ten things that came to my mind.  It would be impossible for me to list every notable thing that happened and not miss something.  Life is busy, stuff happens, and I would not have wanted to miss anything, good or bad.

Can you imagine what this boy and his family have missed?  Four years.  He has lost four years of his life and they have lost the ability to see their son for four years.  It is heartbreaking that this boy has been a hostage for so long.  It is time for him to come home.

When Gilad was captured, my son was 10.  He was going to Jewish Day School, and still scared of me enough that I could count to 10 and he would do what I said by the time I got to 3.  Today he is 14, his own person, and when I tell him I’m counting to 3, I get to 100 and finally give up.

Four years has transitioned my son from a little boy into a young man.  I have gone from barely being forty, to being quite settled in my mid forties.  My son and I are blessed to live a great life, and more importantly, to live it together.  My heart goes out to the Shalit family.

We must all keep Gilad in our prayers and hope that he comes home soon.  Treasure very moment you have with your family.  Write stuff down.  Remember even the smallest things that happen.  They matter. Love your kids, hold them close, and enjoy every day.

To Gilad, Happy Birthday.  We are here, and praying that you will be home soon.  We can’t imagine what four years feels like to you.  You are a remarkable young man and each and every day that passes, is filled with prayers.  Be strong and always keep the faith.