Lest We Forget

MY mother’s father only ever told the “good” stories of the war. Even the ones that included his boots being full of his own blood were told with a laugh. His study was covered in pictures of ships he’d served on, and with books of war and naval service. Laughter, pipe smoke and whisky I remember from when I was young. My father’s father never spoke of the war, and I was too young before he passed to know enough about him, but his silence was a remembrance for me as well. His war was in the air and seen through a bomb-sight, and some duties are harder to laugh about. When I was a teenager, I would go to the Remembrance Day ceremonies and watch my big, burly grandfather march with all his medals and his old, old friends. My young friends and I would stand together in silence…

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Do You Know What Pressure Is?

I had a wonderful night last night. My family got to reconnect with our long out of touch French relatives. It was, I think, the first time in a long time…since world war two perhaps, that this has happened. In the midst of a giant family reunion, I fell back on my old childhood patterns. Found myself a quiet corner to hide but still observe. As an adult, I can’t duck under the dining room table anymore. Can’t even fit behind the couch for that matter. I made do by wandering and puttering. I don’t like being shy. No one does. But it’s part of my nature and I make do. It’s not always a bad thing. When I was a child, being shy made me happy. Hiding out and listening to the voices of all the adults in the room chattering away, smelling dinner cooking…these are my happiest childhood…

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