“My name is Neta (left), and I am 29 years old. My sister Tali (right) was the oldest of the siblings, 6 years older than me. I was her Barbie doll. She used to dress me up and put make-up on me, and we also wrote songs together. She believed in me like nobody else did. She was my role model. I grew up imagining that one day I would look pretty like Tali, smart like Tali, talented like Tali, surrounded by boys like Tali, become a good student like Tali and an excellent solider like Tali.
One day, when she was coming home for the weekend from the army and waiting at the bus stop, she was shot and murdered by a terrorist. The terrorist was disguised as an Israeli soldier and opened fire into a crowd of civilians. Two others were killed as well, along with 13 injured.
When Tali died, like a thunderstorm on a shiny day, fear and agony were born into our lives, unwelcomed…It appeared on our doorstep without permission and walked in taking my sister’s place. This became the new leader in our home…Now that time has passed, we have learned to push them away, into the attic. We don’t want them, they are not Tali, for Tali was good, great and excellent.
If dreams could come true, my only wish would be that Tali could hear me one more time so I could thank her for being there for me, even after all these years – for me, my brothers, my parents, my nephew…Thank you Tali for everything we are today and everything we have.
OneFamily is my big family now. This organization was the first to hug us with love and compassion. They helped us get stronger and still do today. They have truly created warmth and solidarity among Israelis who share a national grief. This year, as a counselor with OneFamily going for my second time to Camp Timberlane in Canada, I can say that our new Canadian family, who has embraced OneFamily, are amazing people, full of love who truly care about us. They have become a part of our story. Thank you.”