Sunday, November 11, 2007

Remberance Day

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved, and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep,

though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.
— John McCrae

Rememberance day to me always makes me think of family members who have passed, most notably my dad and my grandmother.

My grandparents both served in the air force and met during the war while stationed in Gander. Of course that was considered overseas at the time. My grandmother was my grandfathers nurse during an appendectomy one summer. She remembers that she had two patients that summer who had this surgery and one was a jerk and one wasn't.

Christmas came and my grandfather saw her introduced himself and asked her if she would like to cut in line for their supper meal and mail pickup. She did, hoping he wasn't the jerky patients but the nice one. Apparently he was the nice one since she decided to marry him. They ended up being stationed apart after marriage and would meet up for weekends away. It was on one of these weekends that they decided that they should start a family. My grandfather's ulterior motive was that he feared she would be going overseas to nurse on the front lines and he feared for her. My dad arrived approximately 9-10 months later. He was a very big boy. He would always stick out in family portraits. While both my grandparents were of decent heights and my grandmother quite tall for a woman at that time ( I am thinking she was about 5'7 ish , he was 5'10 ish) my dad ended up being 6'4. the 5 other kids my grandparents had were normal heights (no one over 6 ft tall).My dad towered over everyone.

The reason my grandfather would say with a mischievous twinkle in his eye would be " Well he is big because we worked on him ALL weekend"

I wish I had pictures on my computer of my grandparents - especially of my grandmother in her nurse's uniform and her dress uniform to share. They are some of my favorite pictures. I remember when I graduated my grandmother was so proud at the ceremony she was crying. I am so proud of my grandmother, she was one of the strongest women I knew. She lived through the war, the depression in Saskatchewan as a child, the death of a child. She had her last baby at the age of 48! she worked into her late 60's. She was so protective of her children she actually strangled a rabid skunk with her bare hands when it was about to attack her child, yet she was so well mannered - you wouldn't believe she was capable of that.


Nat said...

I'd rib you about finally posting but...

Lovely story really... did she make you want to be a nurse?

gadgetgrl said...

It didn't really come into my decision but I found it really touching at my grad.

I have been really bad about posting. Figured I would try to do some more.

LF said...

I am so glad you shared that beautiful story and a glimpse into your heritage.