It's a milestone like few others.
Turning fifty was a major event, so was 21. But 65, that one really does loom large. This may be the season for something big. Perhaps something really special.
These past few weeks I have been thinking a lot about my grandfather. He was my mother's father, Georges Terroux. He was in the Canadian Armed Forces and he fought in World War I. His fight ended in a fog of mustard gas. He was lucky. Lucky because he didn't die, and lucky because he met the love of his life in England, my grandmother Margaret, his war bride.
I never met grandpa Georges. He passed away before I was born. He has always been in my thoughts over the years. I came to know him through the way my grandmother spoke of him. There was something about the tone of her voice, the look in her eyes, whenever she spoke of him. Kids pick up on that kind of thing.
I think because he was a soldier, because he fought in the Great War, he appealed to me in a special way, not heroically certainly, yet in the way that boys of a certain age see soldiers, with a kind of reverent awe. The fact that from a very young age we attended Remembrance Day ceremonies on November 11th at the military cemetery where Georges was laid to rest, played an important role in the way he remained present for me. That we eventually moved within easy walking distance to that cemetery was also a contributing factor. I was there on Remembrance Day in 2015.
These last few weeks Georges has been more present in my mind than perhaps any time in the past.
It's because Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday, and this day, marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The battle that is widely viewed by historians as marking the moment in time when Canada came of age as a nation.
This tugs at my heart strings in a poignant way.
This past week the television news has been covering the Vimy Ridge Memorial with its solemn towering double white spires and deeply mournful statuary.
|Copyright - Canadian War Museum|
Here in Toronto I felt removed from my grandfather and his service. This week though, I came to appreciate just how deep and how close the roots of Vimy Ridge are to me.
This is one of those topics that fairly screams for the intimacy of video, and begs me to enlist the compelling power of social media.
This is the post that begs the question "Is it possible?"
I will be asking that of myself, and of you. This could be something magical, a connection that will bring me, and you, much closer than either one of us can possibly imagine in this moment.
Let's see where it takes us, shall we?