On this Remembrance Day I remember and honour my grandfather, Russ Cooper. I never had the chance to know him.
Coming back from war brought back a changed man, a man who sought escape in a liquid reality attempting to obliterate the horrors and acts that were witnessed and performed. His children and wife suffering the most from this escape into easing of the daymares; for the mind can be a cruel fellow, playing a looping tape of memories sooner forgotten.
The ripple affect from casualties of war are far reaching and altering beyond our knowing, changing landscapes of people's dreams for their lives. My grandmother left my grandfather, leaving with four children, no money, no job, a deep fear and in my eyes a deep inner courage, the instinct to survive and thrive. My grandfather lived out the rest of his life alone, never knowing the people his children became, his grandchildren. He died alone in a small room, his only companion a bottle of booze and the ever present cruel fellow, who's voice I hope had lessened over his years. The links of family are strong because even though I never met my grandfather I feel a deep sadness for what he suffered and its ripple affect.
I send out my gratitude to all who have served, all who serve and all the families that are impacted, all who have been and continue to be touched in their lives from war. Thank you for making my world a place where I feel safe.
I send out my own small prayer of hope for peace and love for all, today and everyday.