" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

November 11, 2008


Every year I take the time on November 11th to either attend or watch the ceremonies at Victory Square in Vancouver on TV, but I was too cold to get it together this morning to see what happens on Salt Spring. They do have a cenetaph in the park in Ganges.

The photo above is a collage of my dad, and if you look closely, there is a hankie that is from Belgium that says "To My Darling". It's an actual hankie that my father sent my mother sometime between 1942 and 1946 when he served overseas in World War II. He wasn't someone who was a good writer so he would just send her these, I guess, to remind her that he was thinking of her.

Now he is 90 years old and doing quite well except I know that this time of year, especially this year, is difficult for him. It has been almost a year since my mother died (November 20th) and I feel there has been a change in his voice when I talk to him just recently. It could be because of how "ugly" November can be in the Lower Mainland this time of year but I know that's not it.

I'm trying to imagine my parents back then and of course I can't. I can't imagine my mother receiving these hankies in the mail - from Belgium and France and England. I can't imagine him asking her to marry him and wiring her money for a ring while he was away for five years. I can't imagine that such a beginning between two people could keep them together for 62 years.

I can't imagine what it would be like to be 90 and all the memories you would have of that person you loved and knowing that they are not here anymore. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.

I think Remembrance day is always an emotional day for my father. Sometimes my brother, if he is in town, takes him to the Legion, a place where he typically would not go.

I must call him today to let him know I'm thinking of him.

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