Whilst out running errands today I found myself at the local Esso, needing air in an annoying tire and since I was there (and in need of some legitimate daydreaming time) decided to pop in and pick up some lottery tickets.
As I entered the store my eye fell upon an older couple. I’d noticed them walking ahead of me but when the gentleman turned to face me and smile, I took note of his royal blue blazer. On his left chest were a number of beribboned medals. I wish I could tell you what each one stood for but 1. Sadly, I don’t know. (I’m working on rectifying that) and 2. I didn’t get that good a look as I was more interested in studying his face as we chatted. I smiled and said, oh yes, it’s that time of year isn’t it? He nodded and agreed that summer had passed us by as its usual speed of light appearance and disappearance.
Ordinary waiting in line conversation for Canadians; chatting about the weather. As we spoke the people in front of us concluded their business and they gestured me forward. I said oh no, you’re ahead of me (more Canadian line etiquette in action :P). Besides I added, I’m only buying lottery tickets, your business is more important than mine. Pshaw, he says, I’m not important. I have to tell you, my eyes filled with tears and I stroked his arm. You’re awfully important to me, I replied and gave his arm a squeeze. I did go ahead then, as it was getting awfully cloying in there, GRIN.
As I sat in my car afterwards I was a little ashamed of myself. I really wanted to go back in and give this man a hug and thank him properly. I’ll go by later today and buy a poppy to wear. I think that maybe this weekend I’ll pop in to the legion and have a few beers, throw a game of darts or two and talk with some of the veterans there. Maybe I’ll get my chance to thank one or two of them too.
Go buy your poppy today, teach your children why you wear one and you know what, when November 11th passes by, leave the poppy on your coat or hat or visor and remember when you see it. This isn’t a once a year thing. And if you get to hug a veteran on a regular basis, give them one for me, will ya?