I’d tell my Zeidy that he was my hero, the greatest person I ever knew. I’d hold his hand and sing with him. I’d say that he gave me strength in dark times and it was his constant belief in me that helped me through moments of self-doubt.
I’d hug my Bubby and I’d tell her that she was brave: that I knew she had fears but that she donned her makeup and clothing perfectly to conceal her pain from those she loved. I’d thank her for teaching me the importance of looking your best and I would want her to know that the world would be better if there was more kindness like hers.
I’d tell my Grandma that her grace and resilience are traits that I hope are genetic. I’d thank her for teaching me that it’s possible to rise from a fall and build an even better life. I’d let her know that I’m thankful that she came to live with us in Minnesota.
I’d tell my brothers that if they weren’t my family I’d choose them as friends and that I was blessed to know them and honored that I was their sister. I’d thank them for being confidants and for their assistance in navigating complications in life. I’d wish for them all that is good and the strength to deal with what isn’t. I’d tell them to take good care of Abba and Imma.
I’d tell my husband that he was the best person in the whole world and that I was lucky to be his wife. I’d want him to know how I wanted him to be happy and that I prayed for a wonderful life together and the ability to smile through the not so wonderful times. I’d tell him that he made me smile and laugh and cry and that he challenged me to be the best possible me. I’d thank him for comforting my fears and his encouragement and for being the reason I never feel alone.
I’d tell the anti-Israel community that they are responsible for a stalled peace process in this country and that their resolutions and condemnations did nothing to alleviate the situation for the Palestinians. I’d tell them that they have the blood of mothers and fathers and sons and daughters upon their hands.
Each person is a world and they are preceded in death by other worlds and they deserve more than just a headline on the breaking news.
I’d forgive those who hurt me and I’d ask for the same.
I’d thank G-d for giving me the opportunity to live in this wonderful country, to be part of a nation that strives for righteousness even when its leaders don’t always act rightly. I would look around at this land that is so much and could be so much more if its right to exist wasn’t always in question. If the Palestinians truly wanted peace and could prove it, I, and my people, would give them a chance.
I’d want my life – the fears and hopes and aspirations that I had – to be remembered but I know that too many lives have been forgotten and many of the victims in this boundary-less war are simply numbers and not names. Each person is a world and they are preceded in death by other worlds and they deserve more than just a headline on the breaking news. And yet in the global scheme of things, I am no more special than anyone else.
If I died tomorrow, I would want those that I love to know that they shouldn’t be sad, for I, like so many others, tried to choose life in this land. If our enemies want to destroy us, they should know that they are waging war with a people that fights back not with weaponry but with spirit and kindness and that although that may seem like weakness, choosing peace is the braver tactic.
If I died tomorrow, I’d do everything I could today so that I could defiantly proclaim that yesterday I lived.
[Author Note: I just wanted to explain the background of this article. As you have heard, it’s been very stressful the last few months with the security situation in Israel. The fact that everyone is a target is a scary reality. I think a lot about the people who were killed, and as a writer, I am interested in their stories that will never be told. This article comes in light of what’s going on here.]