Mother Canada stands at the top of the Vimy Memorial overlooking a significant battlefield for Canada of WWI. She looks elegant, compassionate, caring as she broods over the 60,000 fallen Canadians entrusted to her care.
My mother, Joy, is visiting from Guelph and we are sharing our experiences of family pilgrimage to Vimy Ridge last spring. I have gone through many photos and put together a presentation for eight LBPSB School assemblies in Verdun and LaSalle organised by Mary Anne Fyckes, spiritual life and community animator. What a privilege to have my Mom in good health, and to share these moments together.
When my grandmother's son William 'Billy' Geddes died over the English Channel in WWII, Myrtle was given the Silver Cross on behalf of the government of Canada. My mother is wearing it to these many assemblies, a part of our family history.
Remembrance is very personal, it weaves the past to the present. When I see the films 'Saving Private Ryan' or more recently 'Dunkirk' it is not only as a movie watcher. The soldiers portrayed are my Father, Grandfather, Uncle, great Uncle, and Neighbour. When we experienced Remembrance and Hope last Sunday at worship, reading the honour roll of SouthWest, it was deeply moving and personal. It also roots us in a prayerful collective memory from which we are inspired to act as peacemakers in our world today.
As I look to Mother Canada, remember my Grandmother Myrtle and experience remembrance with my own Mother I remember the words of hope that the prophet Isaiah spoke to the people: 'You will be like a child that is nursed by its mother, carried in her arms, and treated with love...I will comfort you...as a mother comforts her child.' (Isaiah 66:12-13).
God who comforts, shows compassion, caring and keeps watch over all of us.
This is an image that speaks to me and can inspire each of us.