When the news of the disaster was first reported on television, Yaffa, Itai’s mother, burst into tears. “I cried about the fact that two pilots were killed. I didn’t imagine that the disaster was of such dimensions − and even more than that, that Itai was one of the soldiers.”
Itai, son of Yaffa and Yitzhak, was an independent, quiet, clever child, with a great sense of humor. For a long time he kept the stuffed rabbit that his mother had bought for him when he was a child. To this day the rabbit is in his room, which remains as it was. The clothes in the closet, the tapes, the made-up bed.
Yaffa: “When your son is in a combat unit you keep hearing ‘those knocks’ on the door. When we realized that Itai was among the fallen, I waited for them on the porch. After a nerve-racking night they had identified Itai, who because of his condition was among the last to be identified. In the end all we got were two burnt halves of dog tags.”
Yitzhak: “We’re still in a process. Every year you go through another stage. There are still things that remind us of him, and which for us are hard to do: buying something new, eating hummus, cooking the stuffed vegetables that he liked so much, hanging out a flag on Independence Day. There’s a difficult feeling of missed opportunities. He remains 20-years-old, and around us everything continues as usual.”
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