I remember several years back as young men, Max and Chris standing with us at the Cenotaph on a rainy, cold Nov 11.
We didn’t force them. They actually encouraged us to go as a family.
It was a moving experience and one that we repeated.
Being with a large group of people. Silent expectation. Silent tribute.
What a great way to honour our Canadian fallen.
Quite by happenchance (or maybe not) I saw Chris’ old bulletin board last night as we were moving some boxes around. The board was full of push pins and a boxing picture and one other item. A poppy. But not just any poppy. This was Chris’ poppy from last year. He was always keen to remember, as was (and is) Max.
Max had spied the poppy too, and proudly wore last night. Being who I am I forced him to pose for a quick pic which you see here.
To all our fellow Canadians remembering their sons and daughters lost in service to our country, we pause today to say THANK YOU.
Your service to our country and the world is truly a Be The Best inspiration to us all.
The generosity of people in the past 13 days has been amazing and remarkable. My sister Grace took on the major task of organizing food for the 500-800 people we felt may attend Chris’ service. As the phone calls, emails, Facebook page kept building, we realized that we could have over 1,000 people at the funeral. As it turned out over 1,500 attended for which our family is so amazingly grateful. It was simply stunning. More on that later, but back to the food! Grace made some calls and things snowballed. Companies like Tracy Cakes, Kin’s Farm Market, The Butler Did It Catering, and colleagues from BCIT all came forward in a huge way. Staff from Wardell chopped and cut vegetables for 6 hours straight. So many individual families, lacrosse moms, relatives, church groups and complete strangers (friends of friends of friends) kept providing food and wanting to help. I am probably missing some because even those I mentioned weren’t looking for shout-outs…I just know who you are and we are humbled by your support!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!
Chris loved to eat. Just last month we had come home from work and noticed the frying pan on the stove. We asked
him what he had eaten after school. “Nine eggs”, was his nonchalant reply. After the funeral service, we were delighted to see hungry teenagers eat and talk and mingle…(oh and maybe text…that’s what they do!). Here’s where the story gets even more interesting. There was enough food that we needed to call in the Salvation Army. Additionally, we brought food home to feed family and friends at the house, but even that was too much so we made contact with an organization that takes food to Vancouver’s downtown eastside. But yet another twist. My sister Grace who started all this, went home to Vernon and made soup from vegetable leftovers. She knew of a Grandma (unrelated) in Vernon who had just returned from Prince George and a family funeral of her own. Her grandson had lost his life serving with our Canadian forces in Afghanistan. Grandma’s favourite soup? Cream of celery. What soup had Grace made? I think you know.
The generosity of people was overwhelming. I wanted to tell you that beyond feeding hungry teenagers and the masses of supporters who stood with us on April 1, that spirit of generosity fed literally hundreds of the poorest and hungriest around us and provided a moving connection with a Grandma suffering a family loss in Vernon.
We will simply never understand the extent of our actions. Be The Best. Another amazing example of what that means. Go change the world, one bowl of soup at a time!