Sunday, June 18, 2006

Two Thirds of Shalom

For those of you who don't know, the word SHALOM has three meanings...hello, goodbye, and peace.

Well, I am all for peace and I love saying 'hello' as you have probably gathered, but I'm not so good at the 'goodbye' part. Actually, I'm terrible at it.

The first time I realized that I hated goodbye was when I was thirteen and my closest friend was moving to California. Today with all the communication options it’s easy to stay in touch. But then it was like saying goodbye forever.

When my oldest son went into the army and was ‘someplace’ in the country it could have been days or weeks between communication. On every base they had pay phones and whenever the boys had some free time they would line up and call home.

Usually at six in the morning.

And the phone calls went something like this:

‘IMMA, IT’S ME!’ (he had to shout to be heard over the noise).

One day he called and here is the conversation:

“Hi, Imma, guess what?”
“Hi, darling! What?”
“I got a prize!”
“You did? What kind of a prize?”
“I got an M-16!”
“They gave you a plane?”
“OY, IMMA! That’s an F-16, an M-16 is a rifle!”
“They gave you a rifle and that’s by you a prize?”
“Yah, Imma. Well, I’ve got to run. Give my love to Abba and the kids.”
“Bye honey, stay safe and take care of yourself. Keep warm. Thanks for calling, I love you!”

Now by me a prize is a weekend in Eilat…a free dinner in a fancy restaurant. What did I know? A gun? They gave my kid a gun and he thought it was the cat’s pajamas.

There was a period of three years, when both my son and daughter were in the army, that I had a house filled with kids and guns. Babies. They were only babies. With big guns. And these babies were protecting us all and keeping the country safe.

When my youngest went into the army ten years later, he had two cell phones. His own and the one the army supplied. No more phone calls at six-thirty. Instant communication.

What a life!

Yesterday a close friend told me he was going back to the states for three months on family business. My first reaction was the old ‘goodbye ache’. And then I realized.
Hey! We have phones…email…and skype!!!

Goodbye isn’t forever anymore when a friend leaves town.

Looking forward to seeing you again and using the hello part of the word.


Have a great day…stay safe…and thanks for dropping in.


At 5:04 PM, Anonymous donnamaryann said...

"Hello." and "Goodbye." We've learned to do either, whether good at it or terrible. Why is the "peace" portion always so elusive?


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