To me, Remembrance Day is a big deal.
Long before I came to the military life, I saw the day as sacred. This is when we should pause and reflect for all those that have sacrificed, rightly or wrongly, in the pursuit of peace and justice.
This year I felt a lot of guilt that I didn’t do that. Life has been so scattered that most days I forgot to even put on one of the many poppies I purchased… and I just didn’t feel up to taking the Dudes to a service. Instead, I saw it as a much needed day off in a busy week.
As The Husband and The Girl donned their uniforms (Air Force for him and Air Cadets for her), I stayed under the covers. My act of remembrance was limited to a facebook status and a pause at 11am while doing the dishes.
At the end of the day I felt ashamed of myself for making such a small effort.
It was a friend who showed me a different perspective on my day.
Yes, we spent much of our morning in pajamas but we spent that time preparing two care packages, one for a deployed friend and the other for his young family left behind. We drew pictures and talked about why this friend was in Afghanistan and why his sons had to spend so much time without him. This was not something purposely planned for Remembrance Day but something that just required a quiet morning at home.
The rest of the day was spent at a play date with two other military wives and their children. We enjoyed a rare cup of tea together… which later turned into wine… and let our kids play, at the same time taking on the child of another military wife who, just months into going back to work, was feeling under the weather. Both of the women with whom I shared that afternoon had military husbands away for some operational reason. Not in a war zone, but still away from their family for a military purpose. All of us needed the generous ear of a friend and a welcome distraction for our children.
I didn’t spend the day standing in silence in the cold while a stranger laid a wreath in honour of someone I had no cause to know. Instead I enjoyed the freedoms those sacrifices gave me and my children and, at least, in a small way, I helped those who continue to sacrifice for the freedom of others.
Perhaps I don’t need to feel guilty.