Lest I Forget

Tomorrow is Remembrance Day and this time of year always makes me think of my mom and dad.  Born in different countries, separated by an ocean, brought together by World War II.

My father was in the Canadian Army and part of the armed forces involved in the 1945 liberation of Holland.  That was where he would meet my mother.  She was just a young woman in her early 20s who had spent her teenage years in German-occupied Holland. They were frightening years and the 1945 Winter of Hunger left thousands dead from starvation.  With extreme shortages of food and no electricity or heat, the months leading up to the liberation of Holland were very bleak.


Their experiences as young people had a profound impact on how I was raised.  I was brought up to appreciate what I had and not be wasteful.  I was raised to be grateful to live in a peaceful country and not know violence or hatred.  These were values instilled by a mother whose early adult years were flavoured by fear and hunger.   As I reflect back, we didn’t have a lot – but we had enough.

Every Remembrance Day as a child included the parade to the Cenotaph followed by prayers, the laying of wreaths and playing of Taps.  To this day, that mournful sound of the bugle still brings tears to my eyes as I picture the grim looks on my parent’s faces as they stood quietly in the November cold.

This Remembrance Day, like all others before it, I will remember.  I will be grateful.


About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in Attitude, Family and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Lest I Forget

  1. sandmanstwin says:

    There are many reasons why I am reading through your backlog, Joanne (listening to Leonard Cohen because you want to rather than it being a compulsory Canadian type thing, your Italian ancestory adventures, the list is long) and this piece possibly sits at the top of the tree. Thank you. 🙂


    • Joanne Sisco says:

      Wow – of all posts. Writing this one was difficult, so was re-reading just now. Your comment literally brought tears to my eyes. Thanks ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • sandmanstwin says:

        I knew I shouldn’t make a quip about Len… but tears are a good thing.
        My dad was a London lad who spent the blitz as a 16/17 year old ‘fire watching’ before joining the Royal Fleet Air Arm. My mum was a Leeds lass who joined the Wrens. Although not personally responsible for the liberation of Holland I like to think they played their part in the Allies success. They met in the Summer of 45, married the following Spring and were inseparable until my dad died in 1993. Your mum’s experiences and dad’s heroics are a reminder of what that generation went through and the debt we owe them. Your post portrayed that sentiment wonderfully.
        I stopped myself commenting on a sad post earlier in the week because I didn’t want to remind you of it but this post should be compulsory reading for all. (I’m up to 2014, I’ll be up to date in no time! :))


        • Joanne Sisco says:

          You’re right. Tears are not necessarily a bad thing. I was very touched by your comments.

          Our generation was greatly affected by the experiences of our parents’ generation … at least for those of us whose parents experienced the war first hand.

          Last year it occurred to me that their war is now ‘ancient history’. There have been so many other wars since then to supplant it … not to mention the growing acts of terrorism.
          The generation of my children now look at 9/11 as their loss-of-innocence moment and all the ugliness that has since followed.

          It appears we have learned nothing. THAT makes me very sad.


  2. NancyTex says:

    This was one from before I began following you. Thank you for the link — it’s a beautifully written post and one that hits home, especially after the events of the week before last.


  3. Pingback: November Is For Remembering | My Life Lived Full

  4. Beautiful post, Joanne. Brought tears to my eyes.


  5. Su Leslie says:

    Beautiful; and a lovely tribute to your parents.


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