A Firm-Handed Man

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Poem On Anzac Day For MY Son

On April 25th in Australia we observe Anzac Day in remembrance of all our soldiers old and young who have fought in all wars. It is something I grew up with and at times took for granted. Even knowing that my own Dad went to war in the airforce and that my father in law was a prisoner of war, it didn’t really hit home for me until my own son went to Afghanistan. 

This is something I wrote last year for my husband to read out when he was asked to do a speech about parents who had experienced sending a child off to war.  This is my tribute to the soldiers everywhere. To my father who is no longer with us, to my father in law who luckily still is and of course to my son who thank God came home.






Enough









When he was carried in his mother's womb we wondered if we had enough?

Were we ready?
Could we give him enough?
Could we be all that he needed?
Would WE be enough?


When he was born we worried as all parents do
Has he eaten enough?
Is he warm enough?
Can he feel how much we love him?
Have we cuddled him too much or not enough?


When we sent him off to school we asked ourselves
Was he ready?
Would he miss us or be scared?
Would he make friends?
Had we taught him enough?


Then when he was older we asked
Was his childhood enough?
Did we make it enough?
Did we love him enough?
Did we teach him enough?


When times were busy and our house was full did we hug him enough?
Did he know how much we loved him? How much we love him still?
When he joined the Army, we were very proud and we worried still
Would he cope with all the discipline?
Would the training be too hard?
Would we miss each other too much?
The phone calls came sometimes but were never enough.



Many years later the day finally came...the day he went to Afghanistan.
We had lunch together and we all tried not to cry. All the time we were overwhelmed.
We were beyond proud of our brave son who was the only one who appeared to be ok. As he hugged us goodbye no words were needed, they were all in our eyes
It was then that all our questions were answered.
Yes he knew how much we loved him,
Yes we had been enough
Thank God the discipline had been enough
Thank God the training had been hard
He was ready and it had all been enough



His children didn't understand. They thought that Daddy was going to work in a plane. They were used to this but his little boy was still sad every time he went away. This is him on that day, wearing his Daddy's hat.











Thankfully, we were spared and our James came home to us, others weren't so lucky. So now when we hear on the news that some brave army soldier has lost his life...it isn't just a story. Tears spring to our eyes because we truly feel that family's pain. Those soldiers no matter who they are or what country they come from, are somebody's father, husband, brother or son.
Our son has left the army now so that he can spend time with his own young family. He has served his country well...but for the moment he's needed by his own family. Enough is enough.

LEST WE FORGET




5 comments:

  1. I didn't know about Anzac Day, so thank you for sharing this with me. My heart was in my mouth as I read the beginning of your post because I didn't know what to expect. I am glad that it is a poem of love and honoring, not a poem of child-loss. Although, in a way, it *is* about child-loss, just not in that way.

    Glad that your son is safe.

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    1. Thanks Ana. I don’t know how people cope with child loss. No matter how old they are. We are blessed :)

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  2. As the daughter of a US Army officer, I found your poem very touching. I haven't always agreed with the decisions of the upper-echelon politicians from America and its allies regarding where troops should be sent, most particularly Iraq. But the soldiers and other military personnell should be honored for their service, both those who put their lives at risk in combat situations and those like my Dad whose military service was in a support position.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Claire. I appreciate your comments :)

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