The best things in life are not things, they are moments. It’s moments, little everyday moments, that make our life special.
It’s the way we feel when we spend time with someone we love. It’s the emotions we feel when we are able to share our thoughts and fears with someone we feel safe with. It’s the joy of play. It’s a smile when you’re feeling down. It’s encouragement when you are ready to give up. It’s kindness received with gratitude. It’s the hug from a child and even the bickering of siblings who love each other.
We often forget this as we go about our daily routine. We plan events, vacations and celebrations whilst neglecting “regular” things like sitting down to a family dinner or speaking to a good friend on the phone.
Living in a country at war, as we in Israel currently are, we are witness to many kind, touching, painful, heartfelt moments. Yet understandably, what seems to be missing are the happy moments, the laughter, the joy. The moments that give you a reason to continue.
I’m not immune to sinking into depression and despair. I have been drowning in pain and misery for the past two and a half weeks. I’ve been finding it hard to function. I write, which helps me for a little bit and then I start to fade again.
Sometimes, I laugh and for a minute forget the reality of 40 sons who have lost their lives and whose families will never again have moments with them. Sometimes I get distracted and forget the fear and uncertainty of a conflict that has no hope of ever ending. And then I feel guilty. How can I be happy when so many people are living in fear under bombardment and whose hearts are broken by pain and loss. How can I be happy when my son who is in an elite army unit feels guilty that he is not in Gaza with his friends, even though he is constantly out on missions that are just as important?
Am I disrespecting the dead and my nation by trying to be happy? I hope not. I hope that our fallen soldiers are looking down on me from above and imploring me to live the moments in my life so that their deaths won’t be in vain.
Even more, I hope that each of us can find it in ourselves to not betray life by ignoring the happy moments.
Easier said than done.