"It's been too quiet," said my sister over the phone, my baby sister, the mother of three boys, who lives in Israel, which means that her sons are all/will all be soldiers.
The eldest had just been released from his military duty last month having received the highest honors of officer. The middle one, the sensitive musician, the budding socialist, had just been inducted last Monday, Big Babe's birthday.
As news from today's terrorist attack in Israel filtered through on my BlackBerry, my laptop, my iPad, I thought of the Egged Bus I took last year from Jerusalem to Eilat and shivered. Was it that bus that was attacked, I asked my sister?
No, she said. That is a different bus. This one left Beersheva for Eilat, taking a special road that Bedouins control.
I noted that the wounded and dead were taken to Soroka Hospital, where Middle Babe was taken when she became dehydrated in the Negev four years earlier. I noted that one of the dead Israelis was a 22-year-old Golani soldier.
Two sisters talk on the phone, one in the middle of a carefree American summer day, one in the somber Israeli night after a terrorist attack on civilians, the mother of little boys who grow up to be soldiers in a country where the concept of a carefree summer day does not exist.