Dear readers, please don’t forget to keep checking my tumblr, where I am posting my uncle’s letters from World War II. There are still more letters to post, as well as photographs, documents and some of his poetry.
Earlier this week, my late uncle was given an Honorary Call to the Bar by the Law Society of Upper Canada. It was a beautiful ceremony and, in particular, I would like to thank Patrick Shea for being the driving force behind the event.
Five years ago my brother died. I wrote a bit about it last year here, and given that it is Hallowe’en, I want to pay tribute to Alan by mentioning an episode of Mad Men that touched both of our hearts so much, The Gypsy and the Hobo. Here is a wonderful still from the episode – I still remember talking with him about the episode for like, three hours over the phone!
In the wake of this weekend’s horror, take a moment to remember the original anti-fascist militants, including my uncle, here. (And no, I am not comparing Antifa to WWII Allied soldiers – that would be absurd and an insult to WWII Allied soldiers, as Iowahawk points out here.)
So I’m feeling that empty feeling one has after Christmas or New Year’s Day or after the last episode of this season’s ‘The Americans.’ Like, wow, that was great and exciting and emotional and now…I’m so down without it. But I have started to realize that I find it bittersweet for another reason: the actor who plays Stan Beeman reminds me so much of my late brother. So much. So I like watching him because it’s a bit like having Alan around, but then it’s so tragic when he’s gone.
Today would have been my brother’s 68th birthday. I wrote about him here (on the anniversary of his death) and I won’t add much in this post, other than to say he would absolutely love this political climate – not the divisions or anger, but the vibrant, rebellious aspects. And it would be so great to have him to talk to about it. In his honour, I post two terrific columns about Obama’s disastrous legacy. Alan would agree with both of them! The first is from Lord Black; the second from John Robson.
I posted earlier about the quakes and such going on here, and it occurred to me that I really need to put things in perspective. I was talking to a couple of classmates here in Italy who are from the Ukraine, and they basically said they felt safer taking their chances with quakes than going back home to deal with war. And then I remembered my uncle’s letter about nearly being killed in a buzz-bomb attack (two months before he was killed by a German shell). Please read that letter and spare a thought for those who serve and those who served. Remember all those young men and women.
Four years ago today, my brother died. I miss him every day and while I don’t want to dwell too much on sadness, I never want to let this day go by without acknowledging what a hole his death left in my life. He was the only member of my family (of origin) with whom I spoke every single day, in some capacity. I miss those talks. I miss the intelligence and the moral compass. I was surfing his first blog (which is still online here) the other day and felt such grief. But — sappy as it sounds — he wouldn’t want that. So I will add that I was so lucky to have him as a brother and friend.
…Canada entered the Second World War.
A propos, please visit my other website.
These three ferals are from the same colony, and as you can likely guess from their appearance, are related. The bottom two are siblings and the older black and white lady (top photo) is probably their auntie. The one peering through the fence is the shyest.