Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembering the Mothers

This morning I attended the Remembrance Day ceremony at my children's school. Janelle's primary choir sang "Blowin' in the Wind", and I wanted to see her first performance so I chose to go to the service at the school, rather than at the cenotaph downtown. While I was sitting at the back of the gym, I noticed Connor sitting on the floor with his class, just a few metres from where I was. I don't think he noticed me watching him. Janelle had caught my eye when I walked in and gave an enthusiatic wave and a bright smile, but Connor had his back to me. I kept my eye on him through much of the service. He seemed to be paying close attention, taking it all in. Yesterday we went on a field trip to the Tillsonburg Airport, where many of the planes that were used to train the RAF during WWII are located. It was a great field trip, and I think it really helped the students connect with the things that would be talked about today. Connor was fascinated. He put his head inside the cockpit of a plane that many soldiers trained in and breathed in the scent of history. Maybe it helped me make a connection, too.

While I watched my son during this Remembrance Day service I couldn't help but think about something that was impressed upon the kids and the parents at the airport yesterday. Many of the soldiers who served in the world wars were not many years older than these kids, our kids, my son. Looking at my precious son, I think about another boy. A boy I've never met. I don't know his name, but I know his mother's heart. I know she loved him every bit as much as I love Connor, when she sent him across the sea to the waiting enemy guns. That heart felt like it would tear out of her chest when she gave him one last embrace before whispering her teary goodbye. And on the day she received news that he would not be coming home, she wondered how she would go on living.

Thousands of Canadian mothers gave up their sons for our freedom. That is the sacrifice that pulls at my heart today. They did not love their sons less than I love mine. And the idea of sending my son across an ocean with a gun is inconceivable to me. Today I am thankful for the brokenhearted mothers whose sacrifice bought my freedom. I remember.

1 comment:

  1. Very well said. Read this...–-zuge-in-den-tod-trains-to-life-trains-to-death/

    The link is not showing but I'll post it on FB too.