Posts Tagged With: peace

Thanks for remembering…

This is a conversation I would imagine having with my Dad, Flight Lieutenant William James Duff,  at this time of the year:  Remembrance Day.

Dad (Bill):  Stacey, I want you to thank Ryan, the young man who gave you the model Catalina Flying Boat for me.

Stacey:  I already did Dad.  It was so amazing that her took the time and effort to not only find, but purchase, and bring that model airplane to my school.  Was it the right model?

Dad:  Yes.  Although, of course the model is much smaller than the life- version.  It was a big aircraft and could fly for miles without refueling.  That’s one of the reasons it was so favored overseas because of the distance it could travel.

Stacey:  What’s it like now, Dad?  Do you mark this day in Heaven?

Dad:  Well, it’s a little different here, Stace.

Stacey:  I guess if I asked you in what way, you wouldn’t be able to tell me?

Dad:  Not exactly.  All I can tell is that there is no pain, no more tears, no more mourning for the friends I lost.

Stacey:  I always remember growing up that Remembrance Day was the one time EVER I saw you cry.  I really didn’t understand it at the time.

Dad:  How could you?  No one can really imagine what it was like.  You had to be there.  It wasn’t all bad, though, Stacey.  We had the opportunity to travel to some wonderful places and meet some really good people.  The guys I was with in India  – we became very close.  The war brought a lot of people together in some very unlikely circumstances.  I always felt so fortunate that I was able to learn how to fly a plane.  I was in love with the idea of flying ever since I was a kid and a plane crashed in a field in New Lowell.  I think it was there that my interest in flying – not crashing (grin) – peaked.

Stacey:  It’s strange, Dad, that you are able to take good from such a terrible time.

Dad:  What are you going to do, Stacey?  You need to see the positive in everything.  No sense in complaining about things.  This is a very sad time for me and for so many families – don’t get me wrong.  But we all did what we felt we had to do and we all felt that we were doing something that was “right” and “good”.  I don’t know whether or not it was the right thing – even to this day.

Stacey:  You mean there are still no answers, Dad.

Dad:  Oh, there are answers, but we can still hold differences of opinions… we just don’t need war to solve the difference here, Stacey.

Stacey:  Good to talk to you again, Dad.  I’m not going to lay a wreath tomorrow – but I am going to the George Duff Memorial for you and Grandpa.   Anything you want me to say or do?

Dad:  No.  Just being there is enough.  And, Stacey, thanks for remembering.

Stacey:  I love you, Dad.

Dad:  Love you to, Stace.


Categories: Duff History, Life After Dad, Life's Lessons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

That’s My Sign

My daughter and I are still negotiating whether the “voice” in High Flight will be mine or hers.  I guess the bottom line is that maybe we don’t need to really decide.  Maybe the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and it wouldn’t matter whose voice was posted anyhow?

I do know one thing for certain.  There has been change.

My bed is empty – but my family continues to walk into my bedroom and observe the empty bed.  I want to reach out to tell them that I am there in their hearts – to give them a sign- don’t bother looking somewhere physical – but my voice is not of this world.

Before I passed away, my daughter and I talked about what signal I would use to indicate to her that I was still around.  On Friday nights, to give relief to the Dancing Nannies, my daughter would sleep over at my house and take care of me.  We would, as she said, “Party” – which meant playing Connect 4 with David and telling stories and listening to music with Stacey. It became a tradition that every Friday – we’d call Floyd and Frances (with an “e”).  We’d call at “cocktail” hour.  This was key because we’d all pour a rum and coke – so two in British Columbia and three in Barrie… one for Stacey, one for me, and one for Paula. Then – we’d all toast together on SKYPE.  As time passed, naturally Stacey’s and my drink disappeared – but Paula’s did not. We would half expect Paula to drink it – we waited and waited for the fluid to change – but it did not.  In the end, we decided we were crazy and we’d split the drink and toast to Mom.

Back to “my sign”.  The first night I was with Paula – crazy Stacey and the Dancing Nannies poured a glass of wine for me – and waited for it to disappear.  Eventually the wine became Stacey’s responsibility and it did in fact disappear. The wine is not my sign.

My family was together tonight – gathered to eat at my house.  There was peace.  There was friendship.   There was respect.  All I had ever asked of my children was for harmony – for them to “get along”.  They were laughing, telling stories, listening to Anne Murray (although not everyone cared for Anne Murray!) .. Snowbird.  It was beautiful.  I believe they did this for me – and I am honoured.

Tomorrow – I know will be a big day for my family as they prepare for the “visitation”.  I will be with them.  My sign will be the peace they feel within themselves for a job well done.

That’s my sign.


Categories: Family and Friends, Life's Lessons | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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