Today is ANZAC Day. A day for remembrance. A day to reflect on war and those brave men and women who fought for what we enjoy today.
Noble? Of course!
But I will never understand war.
Last year the Munchkin had no idea about war or fighting, or guns even. This year, it is his latest obsession. Such is the nature of boys, I suppose. It makes me really uncomfortable. I hate listening to his latest “War in Cat Land” story. Hearing stories of violence drives me insane – I can’t even listen to the news. I try to explain… “War is bad. You have no idea how bad it is. I have no idea how bad it is. I don’t want to even think about it.” Because the thought of having to send my one and only gorgeous child to war is up there amongst the worst thoughts I can think.
Today, in the pouring rain, we attended our local ANZAC Day parade and service. At least the rain washes away the tears.
I look at the young cadets standing guard at the memorial – they are barely younger than the boys who gave their lives so long ago. Those boys in Gallipoli, France, New Guinea etc were not much older than the school captain of the high school, the scout troup boys and girls huddling under their parents’ umbrellas – scarves dripping, or the boys from the local footy team, turning slowly blue in the freezing cold air. In fact, when you think about it in context, they were barely older than the Munchkin, my beautiful boy – a boy with so much of life ahead of him – with a whole world ahead of him.
And my thoughts turn to the mums of those boys who went to Gallipoli, France, New Guinea etc.
Big fat tears blend with the rain.
And I want to scream out to the world, “There is NO WAY you are getting my beautiful boy – unless it’s for a VERY good cause.” (“NO, not even then”, are my true thoughts.) Like all those mothers before…
The mothers who bravely let them go. The mothers who received the telegrams. The mothers that held a horrible pain in that empty space in their hearts every single day, while they got on with rest of their lives. A pain that permeated through a whole society – a pain that is only now disappearing with the people carrying it.
Is there any good cause worth that? I don’t know. But here’s to the Mums who let their sons go.
And here’s to their sons who did them proud.
Lest we forget.