Honey and the Holy Land

 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.

 10am Wednesday, my husband calls; "You need to get in touch with your mother. There has been a bombing in downtown Jerusalem." Two hours earlier we knew she was having lunch on a hillside. (I repeat, picnicking in a war zone) One hour from Jerusalem. We were worried. Her cell phone was going straight to voice mail. We called nonstop for hours.

It was recommended I make some calls. So, for the next hour I called 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. 
Our worrying escalated, but only a little. We felt that the news would have mentioned if the woman was a US citizen.
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.

Tara said...

I'm so happy to hear this. When my mom saw the news yesterday she called to see if I could ask if you had heard from your mom. I didn't want to be the person to tell you about a bombing in Jerusalem so I opted not to email. I'll pass on the news and ask your mom if she'll be stopping over in Libya to do a little sight seeing on her way home!.

clare said...

I hope your mom sees your post and that maybe she can understand where you are coming from. I get it. So glad she is ok. I know I don't know you but I will say that Tara's comment about seeing Libya on the way home is right on target. My prayers are with your mom and you.

bevy said...

Sounds like something my mother would do... So glad every thing is OK!

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