Friday, November 12, 2010

Our Fallen Fathers

Yesterday was Remembrance Day. Remembrance Day is a time to remember our fellow Canadians that fought in World War I and II, the Korean War and even the war in Afghanistan happening today.
I live in a retirement community. I hear the stories they casually share with one another... They ask which war the other fought in.. They listen and nod in understanding. I see what the wars have done to these people and I have learned to respect them in a special way. With this knowledge I realize that Remembrance Day is taken very, very seriously. The majority of the community lived through those wars. I'm certain they don't just think about it once a year, like so many do..
This day always means something to me because the people in our community re-live something on this day. They remember people they lost and memories they wish not to see.. I woke up, to the noise of drums in the distance. I dashed out of bed, dressed and I hurried to the end of my drive way, juuuust in time to see the parade of veterans, police officers, the cadets and legion members marching by. The bag pipes were being played to the beat of the drum and my heart swelled with patriotism, sympathy and hurt..

I am proud to be a Canadian. We are a loyal nation. We work hard, we stick together as a Country and we are there for other countries.. fighting along side them in a war that isn't even ours. I am always sympathetic to the men and women and family members and friends that were greatly affected by the wars. I read a lot of books and watch a lot of tv specials and movies.. So I believe I have an idea of what it may have been like, but at the same time I realize that I have NO idea what it was like.. My grand mother who left Germany with her husband and four boys in 1957 told me stories about the war.. Stories of anguish and struggle. It was hard on everyone, all sides of it.. So my sympathy goes out to the men and women whose lives ended on the beaches of Juno and Normandy... To the family members who received word by telegram, or from the grave look of a soldier, taking his hat off before reciting the lines that no one wants to hear. Ever.
I also felt hurt .. Pain, for myself. For my dads. My step dad passed away March, 07, 2005 of brain cancer. He was diagnosed February, 01st and taken from us just over a month later at the age of 55. My dad, that always lived away from us, but loved us just the same.. passed away on July 27, 2010 of prostate cancer, at the age of 56. He started out with bladder cancer and tried out the expected treatments for a couple of years. But, once it had spread and he stopped treatments, it was only a matter of time before it consumed him. Cancer consumes.. Takes and takes and takes until there is nothing left to take but our lasting hope for a miracle..
I was married on July 10th and my dad flew out from Alberta to be here for it. He never left his hotel room.. not once. He was too ill. He sat in a dark, hot hotel room, over looking the beach, knowing his baby daughter was getting married and he couldn't even leave his room to be there. I feel an aching, huge sense of loss with my dad's death. I was healing after five years from Rudi's death and then life threw another curve ball we didn't see coming.. and bam. Another dad. Another loss. This one different in every way from the first. All the emotions I feel.. No sense of closure. Our book was closed before it was finished. There was so much more to write... We had so much more to learn from each other. I had anger towards you.. and now, you are gone. Our story left untold..
Remembrance Day is a day to remember our soldiers. But I took it as a day to remember everyone who we've lost...
So.. Here is to Rudi Wirth, a man who loved with his whole heart. He lived each day to it's fullest.. He lead a healthy lifestyle, he loved nature, animals and most importantly his family who he saved and who saved him, so many years ago.
Here's to Bernard Parenteau, a man who always lived his life the way he wanted all along. A very talented musician and singer, full of wisdom and words to make one think. He is the father to three and to three more .. He is my father, always was, always will be.. and what would or could have been will be something I will always wonder.. as I reach my adult life and begin a family of my very own.
I will take with me Rudi's huge heart, his loyalty and his reasoning.. I will take my dad's natural ability with a guitar, his stubborn edge and his goofy sense of humour. I will work towards being the best person, wife, daughter, sister, friend and one day mother.. that I can be because of the most important men that have left me early. They will be the reason why I am good in this world..
So Happy Remembrance Day to everyone who has experienced loss. You are not alone in this world. The ones we love are not lost for good, we will find them again, when it is our turn and they will be waiting for us to join them somewhere, someday.