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Where I Come From, and Where Did He Go?

June 8th, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Where I come from is in part my parents. Twice in my life so far I have deeply wondered. Six years ago it was: "Where did she go?", and now: "Where did he go?" As I say goodbye to a beautiful man to which I had the honor to call Aba (Dad) I am sharing with an essay I wrote seven years ago:

 

I AM THE DAUGHTER OF A SOLDIER

 

I am the daughter of a farmer, a soldier, and a philosopher. A kind and gentle man. My mother named him pure.

 

I am the daughter of a noble man. He does not lie or bend the truth for kids. He told me, many times, that man’s nature is to run away from fire and the army trains you to run into it.

 

He went to war more then once. He was afraid, and did not believe in killing. I do not know what he saw there. He always kept the unspoken rule that a man does not discuss the battlefield at home.

 

With his parents escaping Europe just in time to look back and see the flames consuming their past, and with his 64 years of life in the Israeli/Arabic conflict, my father believes that solutions are found in negotiation. I saw him sad, I saw him angry, but never calling for revenge.

 

When I was small we would go to the fields for the last few hours of light. He would check on the watering pipes. I would dig my bare feet in the sand, and surrender in to the warm air as day turned to night.

 

Then, later, I would follow him, probing, as you would with a mentor.  His answers are a part of who I am today. He kept me surprised, and gained my respect with his ability to give a fully thought through, direct, short, and honest answer.  Many times his answers were unsatisfying. Back then I thought it was because he was old and gave up; today I think it was because he was old and wise.

 

We grew up with on and off times of political issues very few could ignore, and everyone got to practice their thought process, opinion forming and debating skills.

 

I am whom I was born, when I was born, where I was born and to whom I was born.

 

I am the daughter of my parents, the land I walked on, the community that surrounded me.