A tragic casualty of the Mumbai terror is a now-orphaned two-year-old boy, Moshe; his parents were murdered in the assaults. His father was a Rabbi, originally from the States and his mother was an Israeli.
I watched the heartrending footage of this two-year-old’s parents’ funeral as he cried out repeatedly, “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” I am glad my children were not in the room because I crumbled to the floor in sorrow. I cried for him, for his parents and for the unfolding of my worst fears.
This child’s reality is my worst nightmare. I dare say it is every parent’s nightmare, dying while our children are young and leaving them in the hands of others.
How can a two-year-old understand that Mommy and Daddy aren’t coming back? How can a five-year-old comprehend the loss of her parents?
I know that Abby and Henry would survive and even thrive in a post-parent world. There are many who have done just that after loosing a parent or parents. The black cloud of raw fear that unravels my heart is that my children don’t yet know that they will be ok if Brian and I were to die.
I’ll hold in my heart that they will thrive and hope that because I believe it, they will, too. I’ll continue to write them letters of encouragement, take photos and fill them with love. I’ll kiss their cheeks and hands and hug them silly. I’ll create lasting memories. I’ll lead a life that fulfills me, one which my children will be proud to recant with laughter, through tears, after I’m gone.
For now, we continue to live. I hold my children tight. I instill in them my love, my values, my empathy, my joys and my essence. I teach them how to quiet the noise and listen to their hearts. I hold on and hold dear because I don’t know when I’ll have to let go and let someone else do the holding.
If the unimaginable happens, when Henry cries out, “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!”, someone can hold him close and draw pictures in his mind of me, of who I was and how I loved him—and he’ll remember. When Abby cries, “But I told Mommy and Daddy that I didn’t want them to ever die!”, someone can fold her into their arms and explain that we will always live in her heart.
My most sincere wish today is for the well-being of little Moshe, whose parents are now living in his memories and his heart.