Even though they are too young to understand, I tell my children that they have won the birth lottery... for they live in a country where they can speak any language and follow any religion without persecution. They have a health care system that won't turn them away at the hospital door. They can go to school. They can grow up to be anything they want to be. They have food. They have clean water. And most of all, they are not growing up in a country at war. Granted, we have soldiers in Afghanistan but so far, I am able to shelter them from that.
I was listening on the radio to the Remembrance Day ceremonies and there was a lump in my throat. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have a loved one at war, or worse, to have lost a loved one. I am far away from war. And my experience is limited to what I read and if I search, I may hear a story from a veteran and from someone who lived through it. Jacob's great-grandfather (my husband's grand dad) fought in World War I. He is still alive to this day at the age of 95 to recount events during a time before internet and ipods. My paternal grandmother lost 4 of her children during the Second World War because there was no medication available to treat them. They died from illnesses that easily would have been cured today. My maternal grandmother sewed the family jewels inside the stuffing of my mother's dolly. I have one of her rings that I will be giving to my Maiya dolly one day.
So today, I give thanks to those who have fought, and to those who are still fighting in wars they did not start. I give thanks that my children can sleep peacefully at night. Every year I buy a poppy and proudly wear it. But this year I was given an extra special poppy from Jacob. It is a little construction paper poppy with its centre askew and a teeny heart sticker and sprinkled with glitter and glued to a pin. This is one of those things that I will keep forever because this little poppy is my symbol of hope.... that my son and daughter grow without fear in a world of peace.
To all the soldiers of the past, present, and future, thank you and God Bless.