Friday 11 November 2011

Thinking about rememberance

I'm ashamed to admit that until last night, I didn't know why it is poppies, out of all the flowers, that we wear on armistice day.

There must be others out there like me. Those who wear a poppy and observe the 2 minute silence because that's what you're supposed to do; not from any real understanding of what it all means. At least, I really hope it wasn't just me.

Question: so what was it that opened my eyes?
Answer: a segment on *whispers* The One Show and an article in a local magazine about the poppy appeal and its origins.

Strangely though, both of these things, although eye-opening, left me feeling really sad. 

I can't help but wonder whether the yearly commemoration of armistice day will be adversely affected when there is no longer anyone alive that lived through/fought in world wars 1 and 2. After all, the rememberance I offer cannot compare to the depth of emotion behind the rememberance offered by someone that has first hand knowledge of living through the war.

It's not just that though. What my new knowledge made me realise is that I have never truly taken the time to properly listen to the stories shared by my nan and grandad of their experience of war. One day, they won't be with my family anymore and what will I tell my children about them? I will regret not having listened. I know I will.

All of this has brought me round to thinking "how do I want to be remembered?". This is a question that has been sitting quite uncomfortably at the front of my mind since the birth of my second child in July this year.

I absolutely want my children to know that I loved them with my whole heart. I want them to feel with complete conviction that I was a good mum. I want my husband to know that he completed me and made me a better person. I want the rest of my family to know, no matter how much or little I saw them, that I loved them.

However, there's a part of me that says that's not enough. I want to be  remembered as more than just a mum/wife/daughter/sister. For that to happen, I'm going to have to make some changes. I'm going to have to start doing rather than just thinking all the time. I'm not going to achieve my dreams if I sit on the settee sipping diet pepsi and browsing the internet night after night!

And with that in mind, I'll leave you for tonight with the saying "if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got".
Who wants to join me in doing things differently?


Unknown said...

I don't really know how I want to be remembered (too busy to think about it!). I'm posting a fab poem on the poppies and why we wear them tomorrow though so come and have a look for a great explanation :)

Adventures of a Middle-aged Matron said...

Lovely post. I'm always worrying about how I'll be remembered, but my weekly revolutions to be a Radiant Presence in the world never outlast the hour. And since I keep a daily journal all my vicious thoughts and foibles will be my legacy. But even if we don't stick to our resolutions, it's good to be aware enough to make them. I bet, if you could attend your own funeral you'd be amazed at how much difference you've made within your own local horizons without realising it.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post. Rememberance day is a good time to start thinking and I agree, too many of us go through the motions rather than being wholly aware of the message behind it all. Also, good on you for taking the initative and wanting to be yourself. Good luck to you and keep striving!

Misha - TheBlingBuoy said...

I'd never really thought of it like that... but you're right. Thinking about how we will be remembered is a very unique and heartfelt way of commemorating those we honour on Rememberance Day. After all, what were they fighting for if not for our right to choose a life that we want to be remembered by?

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