On 7 October , in the early morning hours, Tomer Shapira left his home to do what always gave him perfect moments of freedom and satisfaction: cycling.

He did not return from that ride. Hamas gunmen’s bullets reached him at a junction as he tried to flee home to his wife Etan and their two young children. “Tell my wife I love her,” Tomer managed to say in a brief phone call to one of his group friends in the last seconds of his life. When his mother called him a few minutes later, she would hear curses in Arabic and realize that something terrible had happened to her son.

Since that day, his widow often sits on the balcony from where she always watched Tomer return from training. “I still find myself jolting at the sound of approaching bicycles,” she says. “It’s an instinctive reaction that I have no control over. In the first few seconds, I tell myself, ‘here’s Tomer coming home.’ It seems that the time passed does not help. The longing and pain only intensify.”

In addition to the devastating tragedy that tore her and the family apart, she finds herself struggling with financial distress and the need to devote all her time to Bar (6) and Yom (3). Friends are helping to raise support funds.

Tomer was killed wearing IPT’s Racing for Change jersey, which helped identify him when he was found in his bullet-riddled car a few days later.

The widow says that since receiving an identical jersey from the team, her daughter often wanders around wearing the jersey. “It gives her comfort. She tells everyone, ‘it’s like Dad’s,'” she says.

Tomorrow, his friends will ride in his memory from Tomer’s house in Gedera to the cemetery where he is buried.