Friday 11 November 2016

Remembering My Father Today

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada, Veteran's Day in the United States. 

Today I remember my father, James Edward Thomson, who fought in Europe with the Royal Montreal Regiment and won an award for bravery from King George and was mentioned in dispatches. Near Antwerp, my Dad was off-duty and walking back to barracks when he noticed a crowd gathered around a field. He went over to investigate. Two children had been collecting chestnuts, not realizing the area was mined. A mine exploded, very badly injuring one boy. Everyone in the crowd was afraid to enter the area. My Dad crawled to the boy, checking for trip wires with the barrel of his pistol. He brought both children out, saving them. Lest we forget.

In 1973, my Dad suffered the first of three strokes.  Over the next two years, he would lose his speech and his mobility. My Dad's infirmity was my first experience of caregiving in our family. Of course my Mom was Dad's caregiver, but I remember how everything, everything changed after his strokes. My sister and I helped the best we could, but it was a hard coming of age for us. He passed away in 1975 and he is still missed every day. He was and still is, my first personal hero - my Dad.

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