Four years ago, Liat was recovering from a severe infection and was just moved to a regular bed from the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Every morning nurses or doctors would come around to take blood and Liat quickly became an advocate for herself, not allowing just anyone to stick a needle in her.
One morning a young doctor cheerfully walked in and introduced himself. "Hi, I'm Osama", he said. (The doctors in the pediatric unit tended to introduce themselves by their first names, probably as per some memo from the higher-ups).
"Osama?", she asked.
"Yes, I'm here to take some blood.", he answered, reaching for her hand.
"Are you a resident?" she asked.
"I don't let residents take my blood", she said. "I prefer for the ICU nurses to do it, when they can".
He looked at me and I shrugged.
"Okay", he said. And left.
When he was gone, Liat said to me, "I hope he doesn't think I didn't want him to take my blood because of his name".
Again, I shrugged.
"Although", she added, "it is an unfortunate name".
Osama, as a name, will go down in the annals of history with that other name that personifies evil, Adolf, moniker of both Hitler and Eichmann.
I'm glad he's dead. I'm glad they dumped his body into the ocean and didn't bury him somewhere where the loonies of the world can go visit his grave.
But I'm not so sure his death brings closure to the families of his thousands of victims. They still live with the gaping hole Osama left in their lives.
At Ground Zero, yesterday there was dancing and celebrating. At the 9/11 memorial site someone had placed a sign.**
"Freedom, hope, peace, USA", it said. Written on the sign's side, someone added,
"Wish you were here".
**Seen in the Jerusalem Post, Print edition, May 3, 2011
8 Years and Counting
6 months ago