On the 11th hour, or the 11th Day, or the 11th Month, we pause for a minute’s silence to remember the fallen and the sacrifice made for us.
A minute filled with such poignancy that a painful lump swells in the back of my throat and I fight to push it down again. Thoughts have to be pushed away… after all, did grandad not fight so that I might keep my stiff upper lip?! I do most of my remembering before the clock strikes 11 and after the minute’s silence has passed. In truth, I spend a long time thinking about and imagining the horror of the great war, and the wars since.
I can’t share too much about my grandad’s story. He passed away when I was young, and even if he hadn’t, he never shared anything with my dad about the horror he’d endured (stiff upper lip and all that).
I know that he did suffer a life threatening injury. In fact, shrapnel was still embedded under his skin when he died.
A Canadian soldier saved my grandad’s life on the battlefield. I don’t have the heroic specifics (see above re stiff upper lip). But I know my grandad wouldn’t have survived without the help of that unknown Canadian comrade. And so, a strong impression was made on me as a child. That Canada and Canadians are good.
Grandparents and parents have such an incredibly strong influence over their children’s attitudes as adults. I love Canada, because my family does, because my grandad otherwise would not have lived.
Here’s something else about my family that made a big impression on me: my family are debt averse. Of course, there are times when debt is necessary. On the whole though, I am debt averse and do what I can to avoid it. An aversion that translates to being good with money. Maybe that sounds boring. But you know what they say. You only live once. And I wouldn’t want that to be a life mounted in debt.
Our grandfathers didn’t fight for our freedom, so that we might imprison ourselves in debt.
I’d normally pose a question here, but I’ll just invite your thoughts. It could be about remembrance, it could be about family attitudes, it could be about money, or it could be how much more I would love Canada once I’ve actually been there!
Thanks for stopping by!