Yesterday was a long, long day.
It started, ended and revolved around worrying about my mother.
She is a devout Christian, salt of the earth kind of person who has a fascination with Israel. The Holy Land. She has been four ...Yes, FOUR times. Since her last trip a few things have happened... Like war! My sister and I did not want her to go. Simply too dangerous!
PLUS, this time she was not going with a tour group. Just another couple, flying over, renting a car, driving themselves around and setting their own agenda for 18 days.
Have you lost your mind?
We begged and pleaded. You do not vacation in war zones! Please do not go. Rent a motor home, travel the US, visit Florida, collect magnets, dine at Cracker barrels... safe grandparent travel.
They left for Israel Sunday.
It was recommended I make some calls. So, for the next hour I called a congressman, who sent me to, our state senator, who sent me to the US Consulate in Tel Aviv, who sent me to, the US Consulate in Jerusalem, who was able to tell me;
50 people were injured, three critically and one 59 year old woman had been killed.
My mother is 59.
We continued to call. Wednesday night church was consumed with my sister and I going over every detail of mom's last conversation, trying to figure out exactly where she was, exactly what time, could she have made it downtown.... etc.
After church, checked the Internet. The Jerusalem Post. Only to find out that:
The 59 year old woman was a tourist and a foreign citizen.
NOW, we were really worried. We assumed she would call after news so big. For the next several hours we stayed on the phone. We called; the foreign Consulates, hospitals, police stations; the entire time trudging through the Hebrew language in the process. It was even suggested we call the emergency room and ask the nurses to identify items on this deceased woman. Very sobering to say the least. All in all, over two hours of international calls. At 11:30, my sister and I, along with our husbands, decided we had done all we could do. All we could do was pray, wait for my mom to call or the deceased woman to be identified.
Thankfully at 7am, my mother called. Bright eyed and bushy tailed. She had not known it was such a big deal. I said a prayer. THEN, my sister and I let her know what a big deal it had been!
Mom, for next year's vacation, may we suggest a mountain trek through the Somalian Jungle.
We hear the locals are very hospitable.