At this time of year, Remembrance Day, I always think of my Dad. That young man who was sent off to the army, giving up his studies of the classics with thoughts of becoming a minister.
His experiences included an overland journey to India and several years of service there, away from home and family and my mother, waiting for him so they could start a family of their own. I was born nine months after they married when he returned home, the first of the “post war baby boomers”.
The only time he talked about his experiences was to tell us about being on board a ship on the Mediterranean for three days en route to Egypt, unable to go out on deck and under constant threat of bombardment. He held his Bible close to him, reading passages to keep his mind occupied.
His life changed immeasurably when he returned, and he never did resume his studies and 11 years later made the decision to emigrate the family to California to start a new life, never really to settle there either.
So many lives disrupted by these horrible conflicts, many much worse than my father’s.
But I think of him especially, handsome in his uniform, grateful that he came home and married my mother and my life began.