Opinion: I know you are strong and optimistic and a true survivor, and I believe you will come home to us soon; the house is quiet without you; I miss you so much, my heart aches

It is hard for me to send you birthday wishes. You are being held hostage. It is hard for me to imagine you in captivity. It is hard for me to drink my morning coffee without you. It is hard for me not to hold you tight.

It is hard for me not to talk to you every day, several times a day. It is hard not to ask you where you are going. When you are coming home? It is so hard for me.

Liri Elbag
(Photo: Family album )

But if it is hard for me, how hard is it for you? How are you surviving 121 days being held hostage? Four months, 2,880 hours?

My Liri, it is your birthday. You are 19 today and you cannot know how much you are missed at home. How we miss your annual birthday productions, those you plan down to the smallest detail.

You would begin one month ahead of time. Balloons would be ordered, the cake, napkins and cups. You would even know what flowers you want, to fit the color scheme. You would drive the entire house mad with your planning.

And now there is nothing. There is no music, because you were in charge of picking the songs, there are no photos, because you were the one taking them. There is no noise of cooking emerging from the kitchen in the middle of the night, no doors opening or closing when you come and go. I miss you so much, my heart aches.

But I know, my girl, that you are strong and optimistic. I know that during hard times, and you have had many of them, you always see the good that will come in the end.

That is why I am certain that even there, where ever you are now, you are singing to yourself and to others, just like you’ve always done at home. I know you are cooking for others when you can. I know you are driving those with you mad, planning for the days after you are freed.

Shira Elbag holding up the photo of her daughter Liri, held captive in Gaza

I know you are surviving because that is who you are. A true survivor.

We all here send you strength, light and love to keep on surviving, hoping that it will not be for much longer. I know you are coming home and that you will be able to devour life as only you know how.

Liri and Shira Elbag
(Photo: Family album )

Be safe, my child and believe you will soon come back to us.

I love you more than anyone, all the way to the moon and back,


As reported by The Times of Israel