I did something this week that I never thought I would do, I joined the Legion. Not the French Foreign one but The Royal Canadian Legion.
My Father joined the Canadian Army underage and found himself as a Private in Italy where he was wounded in a batttle and he was the only one in his Irish Regiment Brigade to survive that day. His experiences in WWII forever affected him and me.
I used to hate the Legion because of the chaos that exploded once my father would get home from his regular Saturday visits. I’m not going to detail that chaos, just know that to this very day, Saturday is an uncomfortable day for and I have spent almost every Saturday night alone. Remembrance Day was the worst for us! We would, inevitably, end up waiting for him to ‘finish’ commerating his comrades at the Legion before we could go home and, more than once, my 12/13 year-old brother would have to drive home (While my father berrated and insulted him all the way.).
One of the biggest and best things I did in my healing was to forgive my father.
My father and I never did get along but I was freed from the weight of hatred when I forgave him for so many things. I was able to see him as the man he was; a man who had PTSD from WWII when there was no recognition of it, let alone an opportunity for a man to discuss his feeling or moods. He was trained to drink his way through it and he did. To my siblings surprise he quit drinking when he turned 80, but couldn’t talk about the war without tearing up.
My father died in 2011, he was one of a few men left who could hand-splice cable wires, and he was a Veteran from the Irish Regiment.
I joined the Royal Canadian Legion to honour Canada’s brave men, and women who served and their families.
I WILL REMEMBER.