Donna Leskoesek shares the story of generational connection and a Remembrance Day wedding.
My grandparents, Bess and Reg Taylor, eloped on Remembrance Day. For our family it became a day as special as they were. They lived in a house that was right across from the cenotaph. From the time my children and my nephews and nieces were little my grandfather told them stories about the “war.” They would go on walks and play around the cenotaph. My grandfather used these times and walks to instill values in our children. Some of his stories were just stories, but our children benefitted from every moment spent with him. My grandfather was a veteran, even though he never left Canadian soil in wartime. His brothers were veterans too.
Each Remembrance Day we would gather at their house. Long past the days of playing soldiers when the children became teenagers they would all join him and walk to the cenotaph. Even after my grandfather died our children would travel here, from jobs and college in other towns. My brother would come from Lethbridge. My grandmother would give the kids the wreath and they would place it on the cenotaph.
My grandfather was not rich. He was not athletic. He could not fix a thing. The times he needed to be rescued because he’d left the car lights on, lost his keys or flooded the kitchen are too many to be counted. He made us laugh everyday though. He showed us what it was like to have a great love and treat her like a queen. He made each one of us know that we were the center of his world. He taught first me and my siblings and then our children the importance of family, of commitment. He let us know that we are smart and good and capable of great things.
There is much to be said for a man who inspires the best in his grandchildren and great grandchildren. There is even more to be said for a man in his 90s who is the best friend of teenage boys. We are smart and good and capable because of the time you took with all of us Reg. You gave us so much to remember.
“Forgotten Circle.” Flickr Creative Commons. Some rights reserved by ljcybergal