The note posted by the chaplain in the elevator at my mother’s retirement complex simply stated: Next Tuesday, November 10, we will hold a memorial service, remembering those from our home who have passed away in the last year.
How fitting, I thought.
You see, the ethno-religious group that largely makes up the clientele of the home (also run by that same group) are conscientious objectors. They never went to war and, when conscription occurred in our country, were given alternative service options.
Remembrance Day typically leaves them conflicted. Often they talk about using the occasion to pray for peace. So this opportunity, to remember the contributions of their compatriots who had passed, though surely not having fought in the military, and then deliberately setting it one day off Remembrance Day so as not to conflate the two, was a way of honouring those who have gone before without honouring military involvement. A creative and appropriate response in their situation, it seems to me.
Before Saturday’s CFL football games, there was a touching story of a player starting his first professional football game on the same weekend that league games honoured our forces and paid homage to Remembrance Day.
It told of how the player’s grandfather, a veteran of the Korean War, had so inspired him that, if he was willing to pay the price, he could succeed at whatever were his dreams. So, every Remembrance Day, he writes a tribute letter to his grandfather. This year’s letter was especially touching to the grandfather, as the letter shared how the grandson, following his grandfather’s encouragement, had finally achieved his dream of becoming a professional football player. The TV vignette showed both sides of the story; the grandfather was greatly moved.
It caused me to think back of my own father, already deceased for 13 years. He was part of the same ethno-religious group that didn’t participate in the military. Nor would he have been conscripted anyway, but given a health exemption instead. So both the military and any reflection on war were pretty foreign to my upbringing.
But that didn’t mean I couldn’t reflect on the contributions he made to my life. The first one that came to my mind is the value of fairness. This was endemic to both my mother and father—an over-developed “fairness gene”, I sometimes thought. To wit: when his health was failing, it bothered him tremendously that he was using up more than his fair share of healthcare dollars.
Over-developed or not, this reflection caused me to again appreciate the importance of fairness that he taught me. Fairness not because of the returns it may bring back to me but fairness simply because it is right!
He practiced that in all of life. And he made a significant contribution to the well-being of the community and the sub-culture that he was in.
I understand, and support, our honouring of those who gave their lives to bring us the freedoms we enjoy. But the reflection on my father’s contribution reminded me, too, that even if I don’t have a strong connection to the events that we usually honour on Remembrance Day, we should remember the contribution of our forebears in whatever way they contributed to us personally, to our communities and to our society.
That doesn’t take away from the Remembrance Day focus; it adds to it.
At least, that’s how I see it . . .
Rent 2 Own tip
Rent to own is not only for first-time buyers. It is an option for homeowners who are facing non-renewal of their mortgages or even pre-foreclosure. Instead of dumping your home at an under market price before the renewal comes up or, worse yet, giving up your home to the bank, you can consider a rent-to-own program.
If the circumstances are right, the rent-to-own program can buy the home from you, pay out the mortgage holder, rent 2 own it back to you for a few years while you shore up your credit situation, then get you back on title. You never have to move out of the home, the bank gets its money, and eventually you get ownership back of the home you are so comfortable in.
Quote of the Week:
Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you. – H. Jackson Brown Jr.