There was not much time left to be sad. We curled together on the bottom bunk of the bed, with me squeezed between two tiny girls whom I learned to love so much. “Can you tell us a story miss Yuliya?” The quiet voice came from a crib across the room and another voice from the top bunk confirmed the request. Almost every night of their last week in Israel, I would stop by their room and tell them a made up story that included each four of the kids.
The oldest Luke, liked a prominent part and smiled hard at every mention of his name. Mark, the second, didn’t request the main role, as long as he had a hero-Iike character who would storm onto the scene to help. And Bethany and Katy did not mind being the ones rescued. And so we spend our evenings traveling through deserts, wadis, rivers, all along rescued by Mark in case of any mishap. That night the girls asked for me to stay with them and after removing the middle divider which divided the lower bunk in the middle, all three of us settled for a short night’s rest.
Although not without its tears, the last night we spent together in Israel was a fun and memorable one. I was still wide awake when the clock struck midnight and I happened to turn twenty two that very same mid July night.
Today I’m flying to see them in Dallas, Texas. It’s far ways off from Israel and not nearly as scenic, yet when we’re together, it’s not too hard to image ourselves in their home overlooking Judean hills.