Sunday, November 11, 2012

Day for Remembrance

Today, I remember my father.  He was born 100 years ago yesterday.  He is not alive today, having been grateful to pass away in his 90th year, long after life ceased to be of interest to him.  Although he was lucky not to suffer any real physical ailments, he was a proud man and he was tired from the gradual loss of his independence and his sense of dignity.

He was a hard man to know -- incomprehensible to his children.  His frequent bouts of bombastic temper are family legend now.  But despite his failings as a parent, we knew he cared about us.  He was there for us, to support us in every way that a father can.

What I remember most about him was his sense of humour.  He loved wordplay and our family had quite a few invented words (almost our own language) which we all contributed to, and he enjoyed very much. As he was in his late 40s when I was born, I don't remember him as a very active father, our shared pursuits were more sedentary - reading, watching television, and playing board games like checkers, crockinole and chess.

His old friends remembered his sense of humour. When I was in my late teens and we moved to southern Ontario I had the privilege of meeting one of Dad's friends from his RCAF squandron in WWII.  I could tell from his manner that he still held a lot of respect for my father and my Dad was equally thrilled to meet with him again.

Here is a picture of the squandron taken in 1945 at Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire, UK.
Thanks to my sister for providing the picture!

For more about my Dad, here is my post from last year:

And last, but not ever least, here is Rick Mercer ranting about the Canadian federal government's latest injustice to our Veterans.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post to share. How handsome, brave and young those men look in front of the plane.
Rick Mercer's rant is bang on! He's rage and disgust is echoed by so many Canadians...Mr. Harper is lucky to be out of th country.
Well Done Phylly!

Phylly3 said...

Thanks for your comment tyme4t! I always appreciate hearing from you. I wasn't sure I would get any feedback (other than all the spam I've been getting lately) as there is nothing RA related in this post. (It just didn't fit this time).
You are right about Rick Mercer - it never ceases to amaze me how he can always say what needs to be said!

Collar City Brownstone said...

This is such a sweet post. It is so lovely that despite everything you can still look back to love and appreciate your Dad.

Phylly3 said...

Thanks Xenia! Nobody is perfect after all, although we do expect it sometimes from those closest to us.

Traxy said...

They were so brave, and fought for a great cause. What a wonderful picture. :) And what a huge airplane!

Hubby and I discussed Rememberance Day recently, and I said that as a Swede, I found it slightly awkward being pulled from my desk where I used to work, only to stand around and have a silent minute. Two of my former colleagues were ex military, so they were of course very keen we all did it, and I wouldn't protest against it, but it felt ... odd. Perhaps if we had been dragged into the two World Wars, it would be different. But as we weren't, we don't celebrate Rememberance Day, as we have nothing to remember, so to speak. Hence why it felt odd.

I guess, in a way, because we weren't directly "involved", WW1+2 doesn't have the same urgency in Sweden as it does elsewhere, so it feels more like "things that happened to other people", and has that slight air of not-quite-real about it, even though we know it was real. It's important to know it was real, especially for the younger generations. Driving past an American military base when we were in Heidelberg was a good reminder of that. At first, we were surprised. "Why is there a US military base HERE, in Germany?! Ohh. Right. Yes. I remember now. Hrm." Visiting Dachau concentration camp site was another stark reminder. Perhaps it gets "old" and "boring" to be reminded about WW2 "all the time", but if we don't keep reminding ourselves and the younger generations, how else can we remember not to let it happen again?

Oh, P.S. If you were looking for an RA connection, he's wearing a poppy some time in s7 of Spooks. :)