This morning I read "Young Sons" by Bill Mitton. It was shared by someone I follow on Instagram and its the first time I have read this poem. I read it and the reality of this new angle and understanding of the loss that comes from war washed over me.
A mother takes down a photo
And she holds it to her breast
Just has she’d done the child it shows
The little boy she’d washed and dressed.
She remembers how his hair felt
His soft scent still fills her nose.
And one again she curses,
the path her young son chose.
With boyish smile, and happiness
he’d picked the shilling and the gun
she remembered still the fear and dread
when he told her what he’d done.
Yet she’d smiled and waved him off
as only a loving mother could
If God was good, her smiling son
would return as young son’s should.
but then fickle fate, it knows no God
it makes it’s judgments where it will
and IED’s they don’t discriminate
about who they should maim or kill.
So young son’s often come home
fulfilling all their mothers fears
not with happy smiles and laughter
But, draped in flags and mother’s tears.
When I was a child and they talked about war in school, I wondered what it would be like to have my father go off to war. As a married women I wondered what it would be like to have my husband fight in wars and now as a mother, with these words in my head, I wonder about the pain a mother would feel to have to send her young son off to war. Luckily I have never had to experience any of these pains.
Today Luke and I went for a swim at the Petrolia pool and then for a walk through pretty downtown Petrolia. We stopped at the war memorial for a moment of silence and to show our respect for those who have fought for our freedom. I read all the names of the soldiers on the memorial, something I have not done before, and I thought about all the people in their lives that were effected by their loss.
I am so grateful, more than ever today, for the great sacrifices of those who fought and fight to protect our country so we can live free. I am proud to be Canadian and glad to live and raise a family where I do. I could list all of the things that I am grateful for but my son is starting to wake from his nap.
Thank you to our soldiers and their families!
Lest we forget.
Heather Audrey Lapier