Sunday, November 15, 2009

A few days late but...

I guess this is kind of related to Remembrance Day...

One of my unforgettable moments was at a funeral, when my grandpa died last summer at the age of 97. Although I was sad when he died, I had really only shed tears when I first heard about it. I was going through a lot of other things in my personal life at the time, so I was kind of numb. Though my grandpa loved us all dearly, and we him, he was a prim and proper Englishman, a United Church minister with very high moral standards and could be quite stern. He made no secret of his disapproval if he thought any of us weren't dressed appropriately for an occasion, or if he thought we weren't behaving the proper way in a situation.

I held myself together pretty well for the next few days. Even at the funeral itself, I was dry-eyed for the most part.

My grandpa was a war veteran and belonged to the local branch of the Legion, so a bunch of Legionnaires were there decked out in their uniforms. Most of them were elderly too. One of them sat directly across the aisle from me, and was obviously in very poor health. He looked like he was at least 90, didn't try to stand for any of the hymns, and his hands shook as he held the hymn book. His back was hunched and he barely looked up during the service. He was in full Legion uniform with a chest full of medals.

Then the moment came when all those who were current or former members of the miitary were to stand up and salute. (For those who don't know, they often do this at a military or veteran's funeral.) The old gentleman across from me reached out and grabbed the pew in front of him with both hands and began hauling himself to his feet. A couple of people around him tried to help him up, and he impatiently shook their hands off and got up all by himself.

Standing ramrod straight, hanging onto nothing, and without a trace of his former tremor, he stared straight ahead and gave a smart salute that recalled the young recruit of 60-odd years ago. He stood for as long as the salute went on, sitting down only when everyone else had. Although it was only for about 30 seconds, the effort had obviously cost him greatly, as when it was time to sit down he practically fell down, and was slumping even more than before and breathing heavily.

Something about that really got to me... I have no idea who he was or how close he was to my grandpa. He could have just been a casual acquaintance of his from the Legion for all I know. But all I could think of was, "My grandpa would have approved." He overcame his pain and disability to rise to his duty for the occasion... as Grandpa would have done and would have expected us to do.

That is when the tears finally came... that is when I truly realized what Grandpa had meant to all of us.

And I'm crying now too.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hey, new post!

I know you've all been eagerly awaiting one, haven't you??? The clamor has been truly deafening.

Actually this one is a favor for some friends. Check out their awesome amphibious transport machines... Four Tracks All Terrain.

These things will literally go almost anywhere, and they're built for all weather too.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

so how are you all?

Haven't updated in a long time? /hangs head

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