A taste of FAITH, a touch of LAUGHTER.
November 30, 2022
It has taken me over a year to publish this post.
It took a lot to even write it, and more to share it now, but I feel the need to do so.
The story needs to be told with courage and truth.
It is MY story.
It is MY journey through this life.
God help me as I travel along the way I feel led to go……
Remembrance Day Thoughts.
I was so happy that Remembrance Day was opened up to the public this year, and not just online like last year, perhaps because quite a few residents braved the restrictions last year, as I had done, masked, with the military vet friend I now stood beside, in order to properly and publicly respect, remember and honour those lost in the war and those who survived, our war veterans.
I shed some tears as I stood there with my dear friend again this year, remembering the participation of some in my own family who risked their lives to fight in our wars, and the loss of life of so many others who died fighting to defend our freedoms.
It was huge.
It was not for nothing…..not for us to return to oppression.
I shed more tears as I thought about our current loss of basic societal freedoms.
Some of these freedoms the people we were all there remembering fought for and many died for.
No one wanted a totalitarian, discriminatory rule to spread and take root.
I looked around and shed another tear, this time one of relief and gratitude because I saw that there were many more unmasked than masked this year, and, thankfully no one was there monitoring and saying wear your mask, stay 6 feet apart, though many of us kept a respectful distance anyway this year. We have all been well trained. The master of ceremonies had announced the expected “norms” once at the beginning but no one present was policing or enforcing that.
I felt enough support not to put my mask on, though my friend wore his and said nothing to me about mine. He was totally focused on the import of the moment, understandably. He had had personal experience.
He was vaccinated. I wasn’t. He knew my stance, as I knew his.
I wondered privately how many of those surrounding me were vaccinated, by choice, or forced into it, by mandates.
The latter meant no choice, in essence.
A need to earn a living.
A sad situation for many.
I shed a tear as “Oh Canada”, the National Anthem, was played and hardly anyone sang. Perhaps the “no singing” rule”. Not sure. I hummed along.
Those words. “God keep our land, glorious and free….”
I had enjoyed the many freedoms of living in Canada since my arrival in 1972. What had happened in the last 2 years to this country I had chosen and loved?
A rhetorical question. Freedoms were being systematically eroded by 2 years of health mandates and government rule. It continues relentlessly.
I was brought back into the moment as I heard my own Royal Anthem, from the country of my birth and where I had lived ’til I was 23. “God Save the Queen”. A reminder of my homeland.
“God save our gracious Queen
Long live our noble Queen,
God save The Queen:
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save The Queen.”
Both anthems look to God and that is where my hope and comfort lie, despite what is going on around me.
I am living day to day trusting Him, facing it all…..censorship, vilification, discrimination and segregation.
I choose to love.
After the ceremony, my friend wanted to go out for coffee. The one we could have gone to together was closed for Remembrance Day. He drove to another restaurant. I quietly reminded him of vaccine passports. He had his. I did not. He had temporarily forgotten. We parked anyway.
I said I would get out and go check. I saw the sign on the door requiring vaccination ID, so I returned to the car, concealing my own feelings. I had decided not to let the discrimination steal my peace of mind. I let him know about the sign on the door.
I wondered how he really felt and whether he had empathy. Could he identify?
My friend is always highly pragmatic (get vaccinated). Not a bad trait. One I lack for the most part. I appreciate the difference in many ways. I’m thankful for him in my life. I can learn much from him, as I’m sure he can learn some things from me in return.
I have not seen many signs of empathy for the very real discrimination against the unvaccinated, so far, from vaccinated people in general. It’s sad. I understand the fear. I have my own fears. However, all things considered, my friend and I choose to stay closely connected in companionship, even as I elect to stand for health choice…..the freedom to decide what is going into my body despite the mandates.
I’m not normally rebellious in nature, but this is where I draw my line in the sand as have so many others.
It puts me in a tough place but my convictions are strong.
I cannot betray my own conscience before God.
Each to his own.
Would this restaurant event stir something in him?
Does he just value our friendship above it all?
So many remain unasked.
I know I value his friendship, despite everything. Things have been difficult and some things seem much too complicated to discuss, so I let it be.
We left to have coffee at my house. It was nice, as usual. I enjoy his company. I love him dearly.
I was glad we were able to do Remembrance Day together…..
That is very special.
AJ, written November 12, 2021
(Published on November 30, 2022)