Today, I marched for the first time. Our family always attends our local parade. It’s a very emotional solemn event. As the Grandchild of a WWII digger I can march every year but never felt worthy of the honour.
You see I have never met my Grandfather, Denis Alfred Fearn. He died when my Mother was 11. Leaving my Nan, a young attractive widow. Mum still grieves his loss now. He has been a strong presence in my life. I know his stories. I know I’m very like him. I know he would have loved his Grandchildren. His absence leaves a huge hole in my life.
Last year my Nan passed away very gracefully in her sleep. Very indicative of the graceful life she lead. Our first Remembrance Day on 11th November was difficult. I decided then and there I would march on ANZAC Day. My Grandfather’s medals are in my care.
Dressing this morning; putting on his medals and the rosemary grown in my Mother’s garden I was still trying to reconcile my reasons for marching. At the muster point I still didn’t know.
I was overwhelmed with all the people lining the streets commemorating the service of the brave men and women who lost their lives, who returned home broken and who still serve today.
When I saw my Mum and completely fell apart I knew why I was marching. I was marching to remember my Grandfather. I was marching because my Nan can no longer remember him. I was marching because it’s too emotional for my Mum to march. The respectful clapping was not for me it was for my Grandfather who lives on in me. He lives on in my children and they know him and I hope one day will march with me.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Lest we Forget