I think of you often, Dad, but especially on this day.
Thank you for teaching me the importance of honour, respect, and service.
Thank you for crying when you thought of the friends you lost during the war; it taught me that it was okay to cry when you are sad. You showed me a vulnerable side that you must have had to hide when you were at war. There was no time, then, to mourn. At least, no time to pause and reflect.
Thank you for sitting with me and sharing your stories with me. I know they were not always easy ones to tell and you’d rather think of the happy times. Your stories are important and I do re-read them when I want to reconnect with you. You always told me how surprised you were that people found them interesting – you were humble.
I think of you often.
I remember not understanding what you did when you marched in parade. I was too young. You dressed up in your Air Force blue and left the house. Your mood was “off”. You were “on duty”. The day was somber. The mood was somber. I watching images on television of people dressed like you – all marching.
I remember when I began to understand your service to this country – but could not relate. Not at all. How could anyone imagine what happened? The risk you took every day? The reason you left? The joy you felt returning home?
I remember when you couldn’t march anymore, so we watch the Remembrance Day service on the living room couch. I hated watching you cry, but it was your tears that helped me understand the emotions of war – somewhat. I can’t pretend I have a clue how you really felt, but I did get a small snap shot.
I think of you often, Dad.
And I miss you. How many families were left fatherless, motherless? Without a son or a daughter? They were missed/ you are missed.
And often, especially today, are remembered.
When I watch the service today, Dad, I will think of you and remember your tears, your years of sacrifice. I will do my very best to honour you, to pass along your legacy, and to teach my own children about you – Dad.
So they will think of you often, too.