Recently, I posted a status on Facebook which read “some people become heroes in your heart through how they live inside their own.”
There is a woman who has been a hero of mine throughout my entire life, which in two months will calculate to forty-six years.
She is a mother of three and a wife of over fifty years. And she has been a fiercely loyal friend to me no matter when, no matter what.
She is a great humanitarian and is probably the busiest woman I have ever known. I imagine her to be busier than the Secretary of State. Her position is one of great importance. She sits in meetings with Ambassadors from all over the world. She awakens early in the morning and she goes to bed late at night. She is always on a flight somewhere across the globe. Almost always away from her husband on their wedding anniversary. But always home to host the Jewish holidays. Always answers my phone calls or answers them quickly. And she has taught me countless things about myself and about my capacity to love.
When I was 20 years old I went to Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She invited me to her 50th birthday dinner. The President of Hadassah Hospital was in attendance amongst other honorary guests. When she arrived, she sat next to me. I asked her if she had had a good day. What she said was the most remarkable thing and it is one of the reasons why I have always loved her.
“Yes, because Yoam said he wants to live.”
She had spent her entire birthday (her 50th birthday) with a 21 year- old man who was burned from head to toe as a result of being in the Israeli army. And the young man was wrestling with issues with life and death because he didn’t want to live that way. After spending that time together, he had decided he would choose to go on.
For me, it was such an act of trust and generosity and love. And the woman I had always known. The woman who is a hero in my heart.
She lives deeply inside of me in this way. In ways I could not possibly share with anyone because they are too personal.
But she has taught me to trust others even when they let have let me down. She has taught me that I can sustain relationships. She has taught me that I can stand up for myself in courage and in strength with love and dignity and that I won’t be betrayed.
She has been my anchor. Always. Every year.
No matter where.
No matter when.
She has told me many secrets which I will never share.
She is my family.
I thank her every day. Bless her every day. I thank god every day. For this blessing which will be with me for all time.
Marlene. She is my blessing.