M called for an appointment. We arranged to meet for coffee and chat, to see how Springs of Hope could help her and her family. M is 66 years old, of the generation who lives inside the Mahane Yehuda shuk. No supermarkets with pleasant music or air conditioning for this generation. The Shuk is the real and only deal….or so I thought. i was puzzled when she did not know the names of the main roads of the Shuk. Puzzled when no normally familiar landmark was known to her.
She finally downloaded something…..” Does Shalom the felafel guy still exist?” Thankfully i knew the place..we arranged to meet and go over to Aroma for coffee.
Her story unfolded. Today, this day, July 10th 2012 was the first time that she had been into the city centre since she was injured in 1973.It was the Yom Kippur War, he husband had been drafted to the Golan Heights. She went to the Kotel to pray for him.She took her young son of almost two years with her. In accordance with tradition his baby hair has not yet been cut.
She left the Wall, her prayers completed, and her heart at peace. God would protect him and bring him home in time for the birth of their second child. She was already past her due date. She walked alongside a platoon of soldiers towards the Zion Gate, when a hand grenade was thrown right where she was.
In the frenzy she and her son were separated by the medical teams and taken to different hospitals.For some hours he was mistaken for a gir l due to his long hair. Upon initial inspection she was classified as lightly wounded with only superficial external cuts. Labour pains began. Several hours later they greatly increased., Both she and her unborn baby were in great distress. She began to choke on her own blood. Today she lacks her liver , spleen and a great part of her intestines. The baby was born. He lived for two minutes. He too had choked on his mother’s blood.
She was later told that she would have no more children . 40 years later and her heart is still on her sleeve. Her grief is tangible. We are sitting in the shuk, this lady who does not leave her house for fear of being in the wrong place at the wrong time yet once more. She takes care of her grandchildren. Her husband faces the world in her place. She stays at home. Her tears fall and she brushes them away.” God is good, He blessed us. The doctors said ” No” They told me i had no parts. God said ” Yes” . Today we have four wonderful children.”
” So how can Springs of Hope help you ?” i asked.
” I have friends who are a part of you. They have learned to smile again. I want to smile again. Will you help me?”
Over a year has passed since that day in the market. She still only leaves her home when she visits with us. Today she has a smile on her face.