It's been nine years since Major General Doron Almog's beloved son Eran died at age 23. To mark that occasion, Almog delivered the following words at his son's gravesite in Israel last week. Almog and his wife Didi established Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran in their son's name to provide high-level medical and rehabilitative care to severely disabled adults and children. JNF is an Aleh Negev partner.
|Doron Almog and his son, Eran, who passed away in 2007.|
When you were born, we called you Eran -- for my brother Eran, who never came back from the war, who lay bleeding for a week near his burning tank before his lifeless body was rescued and brought home.
When you were just 8 months old, our dream -- the dream of parents everywhere -- was shattered. The psychologist at Assaf HaRofeh Hospital diagnosed you as suffering with autism combined with intellectual disability. Apparently you would remain as you were that day, a baby several months of age, for as long as you lived, and you would most probably never learn to speak.
She was right. During all your 23 years, you never spoke one word. You never called me abba. And yet, despite this, you were to become the greatest teacher of my life. Your silent scream pierced through my soul, penetrating every fiber of my being with an endless discourse about the place of children and people just like you in an achievement-oriented society, one that measures a person’s worth by the yardstick of ability and skill.