On this day, I remember.

I never got to meet my grandfather Otto. He was a freedom fighter in Denmark during World War II. He was also sent to a concentration camp in Germany for two years because of his actions. He was a war hero. And it was the staple for my family moving to Canada – specifically Edmonton.

My mother’s father, a John, a proud Englishman who lived to 86 served as a cook on a Navy ship during the war. He told us many stories of being on the boat when we were kids. I wish I had written these down so I could share them with you.

John was proud of his service during the war. But like Otto, he picked up his family and moved them to Canada for a better life not too long after the war.

My ex who shall remain nameless was a retired soldier. He told me many stories of traveling across the globe. His 20 year military career resulted in severe PTSD which eventually became the demise of our off and on again relationship. We are no longer in contact with each other and parted ways about five years ago.

I know this day is always a struggle for him. And I wish I could reach out to him and say as much. But it would do no good. I have to remind myself why we broke up in the first place.

So today – this very day, my head is full of memories. And my heart is full of – a lot of things – as I try and remember the stories my grandfather told me.

For me, it’s a tradition to share this on social media. Leonard Cohen has always been an inspiration to me. His passing was quite sad and I cried when I heard the news. Leonard Cohen was a brilliant poet. Not the best singer. But as he aged, his voice became full of wisdom and sorrow.

And so, on this day, this very special day – I leave with you Flander’s Fields.

How I wish I could remember those stories.

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