Almost exactly a year ago, a terrorist broke into my home and killed my mother, Dafna, z”l. He stabbed her repeatedly in her upper chest and then in the head when she was already on the ground.
I know this because I was there. I saw it and came face to face with her killer. The only reason I am still alive today is because my mother, in a final act of self-sacrifice, refused to let him pull the knife out. She struggled with him, holding it fast inside her with the strength of a mother determined to protect her children.
I heard her screaming and ran to her. She lay nearly unconscious, with the terrorist above her. I started screaming, too, trying to keep my brother, 7, and sister, 10, away from what was happening. The terrorist ran away – without the knife. I tried to get the knife out, but it was too late. I watched her take the last breaths of her life.
It all lasted less than a minute. In a matter of seconds, my life was completely torn apart.
That day, I lost more than just a parent and protector. I lost my best and closest friend. My mother’s last words to me – only minutes before she was killed – were about how proud she was that I asked her for her opinion on everything. But of course I would ask her opinion. No one’s opinion meant more to me.
There is no way to describe the pain of our loss.
The road to recovery over the past year has been steep and unpredictable. But there has been one constant – the assistance and support of OneFamily.
A staff member from OneFamily came to the shiva. He told us he was here for us and would help in any way we needed. A short time later, a member of OneFamily’s Youth Division paid me a visit to tell me about OneFamily’s activities for bereaved youths, and invited me to the upcoming camp.
From the moment I stepped off the bus, I felt like myself again for the first time. In school, everyone treated me differently, as though I had changed. But at OneFamily, I didn’t feel different from others. Everyone was dealing with their emotions the way I was dealing with mine.
Every evening we sat together and talked through our pain. It helped us all relate to each other much deeper. But more than anything else, it made us feel that we are not alone, which is the scariest feeling of all.
Today, my siblings are all in the Youth Division and three of them are at the OneFamily Hanukah Camp right now.
The experience with OneFamily has been crucial to my healing process. I don’t know any other way I could heal as much as I have, though I still have a long way to go.
OneFamily has also helped my family financially. They helped build a fence around our home and install security measures inside of it, and helped us purchase a new car we desperately needed.
The organization also sponsored a trip to New York for my father Natan and me to speak at the UN Security Council. The council was discussing incitement to terror, and my mother was a victim of that incitement. We were there to show that real people suffer from incitement, not just statistics on page.
OneFamily has helped my family and me in numerous other ways. Social workers are available day and night. We know that we always have support and assistance, no matter what. There is no way to describe what that means to us.
Now, I’m turning to you to help OneFamily.
OneFamily is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on behalf of the victims of terror. They need to raise another $500,000 in next 19 days. All donations during this period are being matched by a generous donor. But it’s an all-or-nothing campaign, which means that all of the money will be returned if they don’t meet that goal.
Please ensure that OneFamily succeeds in reaching its goal. The money goes to helping victims of terror, like me and my family. Please keep the organization strong so it can help the thousands of victims in its care.
We need OneFamily and OneFamily needs you. From the bottom of my heart I’m asking for your help at this time.
Renana Meir, 18, daughter of Dafna Meir z”l
28 Rachel Imenu, POB 8573
Jerusalem Region: +972 2-5399000
Southern Region: +972 2-5399000
Central Region: +972 9-7453814
Northern Region: +972 4-6211439
Make a difference in the lives of Israel’s victims of terror.
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