It turns out that the bug had not quite had its way in the Dalamory Homestead, HBTW suffered his own collapse and took to bed. This involved wearing several extra jumpers, plugging in earphones to the radio and “coorying” under the covers for the best part of 24hrs. We are both now in the more pleasant stage of recovery. There is not much energy to do anything, but plenty of time for contemplation, light reading or watching the TV.
Especially this weekend it has meant time to focus on the Remembrance services. We couldn’t manage our own church this morning, so watched the coverage at the Cenotaph in London. Very moving it was too. Last night I watched the British Legion Festival of Remembrance from the Albert Hall. Maybe it was my convalescent state, but I found myself very tearful and ended the evening red-eyed with a bunged up nose. The stories of the injured and the relatives of those who had died, particularly the young war widows told of courage and sorrow. And somehow hope shone through all the same.
As ever, at this time, I think of relatives who were in the forces in the Second World War and Korea. I remember their stories and their sense of humour, which seemed so necessary to get them through it. I watch the parade of people in the march-past and note how they are getting older year by year. I know I often have a grumble about our way of life nowadays, but in general terms we are moving on and becoming a more just and fair society. I don’t believe that war and fighting is the way to spread justice, but I do understand that sometimes it has been inevitable. Some of my colleagues in the ministry had difficulty with paying respect and remembrance for the fallen, because of their strong belief in peace. I believe that life is muddier rather than straightforward, and as I get older I am more grateful for the freedoms we enjoy.
Oh dear – I had better stop before this turns into a sermon or a treatise on the Just War Theory. Things I used to wrestle with regularly.
Wherever you are, I wish you a peaceful Remembrance Day.