Like so many people around the globe, I have become somewhat desensitized to the goings on in the Middle East. It is not that I don’t care, I do. It is simply that when violence is served up almost daily, when my morning news is headlined with death and my evening news serves to sum up the day’s carnage, I can do no more than shake my head and wish it were different.
After all, I sit thousands of miles away, safe in the comfort of my nice home, my pretty suburb, my fairly Dr Suess-Green Eggs & Ham, rhyme and reason, predictable life. I am ensconced in an existence in which weeks pass with the biggest conflict I encounter being my daughter and her choice of clothing.
As a parent, I watch the news and give thanks every day that my daughters are free, happy and relatively safe. I say relatively because we all know that no place is completely safe these days. As a parent, I also give thanks that I am here to raise them, guide them and love them; the triumvirate of all decent parenting.
I suppose I take that threesome for granted. I mean what loving parent doesn’t place the well being of their children above all else? What involved Mother or Father doesn’t fear their own death, only because it would leave their children without them? I can tell you that if I went prematurely, God would have a huge problem on His hands. There would not be a second’s peace in the hereafter until He put me back. Dog, tree, hermit crab, I don’t care. Just let me be with my children as they grow.
That’s why, when I read the news of the Palestinian mother who became a suicide bomber, I was shocked out of my desensitized state. A mother?!?! Actively choosing to become, as she stated in her farewell video, “deadly shrapnel”, over remaining the touchstone of her children’s lives? Choosing her perception of martyrdom over the hugs and kisses of her 1 year old and 3 year old children? Choosing to leave her family in stunned disbelief, rather than share the precious moments that are fleeting enough as it is?
As a mother I think, no, I need to believe that she felt it was a right and proper “cause”. That she must have believed in her “mission” without hesitation.
Perhaps she believed that you have to take risks to effect change. Perhaps she was confident that in detonating herself and taking other lives with her, she was helping to alter the future. Perhaps like the Dr. Suess character The Lorax, she felt, “unless someone cares a whole awful lot, things aren’t going to get better, they’re not.”
Perhaps she’s right on one count. After all, she did irrevocably change the future for a grieving husband and two bewildered children.
And even when they’ve cried a whole awful lot, that won’t make Mommy come back. She’s not.