NEWTON, MASS. (WHDH) - Flowers and food are left at Anna Itkis’ Newton home as her son and daughter are serving in the Israeli military and as Itkis’ community looks for ways to support her.

Itkis’ 20-year-old son, Ben, is currently serving in Israel’s army. Her 23-year-old daughter, Esther, is a reservist and was called into action. 

Itkis recently spoke to 7NEWS, sharing her story as the war between Israel and Hamas continues.

“I’m not composed at all,” Itkis told 7NEWS. “I have these swings — one moment I feel okay, it’s all going to be fine, and then the next morning it’s just horrible.”

Itkis said these two of her four children moved to Israel and became citizens. So, it’s their duty to defend the country. 

Watching and hearing about the killings of innocent people in Israel, Itkis said she supports what her children are fighting for. 

“My grandparents were slaughtered in Belarus when the Germans came in,” she said. “We always talked about it as if it was something in the past and here it has become real again.” 

Itkis’ children are not her only loved ones in Israel. Her husband flew to the country last week to attend a wedding. Itkis said the wedding was then canceled when the groom was called into active duty. 

Unable to control the situation, Itkis said she has tried to keep up her routine at home. 

“Here I am going through hell and I come to work and everybody else is completely normal,” she said. “People are laughing, talking and you have to put on a smiley face. You have to look normal and act normal.”

For Itkis, nothing will ever be normal again. She said she also knows, though, that she is not the only person who feels that way. 

“It’s true that not everybody has a child on active duty in the army, but everybody has somebody in Israel,” she said.

While her two youngest children are in Israel, Itkis’ two older children live in Massachusetts. Her husband is expected to return home on Sunday. 

(Copyright (c) 2023 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox