Thursday, November 11, 2021

A Gift For Veteran’s Day
photo by seaside lucy

The end of the war to end all wars came at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. 

Seven years later, on that exact date, my mother-in-law was born. 

I like to think that they are linked somehow, this day of remembrance, of courage, of honor, of heroism, of acknowledging the completely destructive and terrifying evil of war, and the birth of this innocent babe.

What a gift she must have been to her parents who were still weary - as I'm sure most of the world was - of conflict and violence and death and war. What peace and solace she must have brought to them, their long-awaited and much-anticipated second-born, and surely they doted on her. 

She grew up gentle and kind, and lived her life with quiet reserve. Near the end of her days, she would remark that if she had it all to do over again, she might be a bit more forceful in stating her own mind, but in this life, she never was. Down to the very end, she put her own opinions aside to do all that she could to make life peaceful and easy for those around her, for those she loved. 

In many ways, my mother-in-law embodied the exact opposite of war. 

And so on this Veterans' Day, 

I reflect on the horrors of war 
I honor the millions of kind, gentle souls who gave their lives for my freedom 
I treasure the memory of my mother-in-law who lived her life as the antithesis of war. 

In the red poppies that symbolize this day, I see her gentle face. 

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