As I settled into our new home, there was of course the war being fought. I got constant updates from my coworkers on the rockets being fired in our general direction, which did not help quell my anxiety at moving, settling, and the eventual hitching. While I don’t claim I was greatly affected by the war–as of yet, Haifa has remained unscathed–it gave me a taste of the grinding stress of living in a country constantly threatened with violence, and a greater appreciation for my life in the United States, where the majority of our citizens, perhaps unjustly, live untouched by whatever conflict we’re embroiled in.
Actually, one colleague told me that war marriages turn out the best, as she and her husband courted and wed during the conflict of 1991, also in Israel. (Since her husband was in Sergey’s department, maybe it’s the interdepartmental alliance that does the trick.)
A few days before we were scheduled to leave for the States, a rocket that landed near the Tel Aviv airport prompted first American and then European airlines to stop flying into Israel.
Of the various obstacles we had to overcome to get married, this was not one I had expected. Would we have to take a transatlantic canoe voyage to attend our own wedding? It seemed like the perfect misalignment of international events, with the rocket hit occurring a week after the Malaysian Airline tragedy, while most airlines were feeling understandable panicky about getting close to war zones.
“Maybe God is trying to save you from me,” mused Sergey.
But I’d rather think of it as God giving us plenty of opportunities to re-examine our choice, asking repeatedly, “Are you sure you want to go through with this?” And of course we did, answering yes to each question.
Our flight was indeed cancelled. While this was annoying, it was fair–how could we expect to remain aloof from the conflict roiling to our south? Plus, on the positive side, it gave us some extra time to unpack our things…and then pack for the trip.