Like he was shot

December 7, 2010


My father went to war. He was a kid. About 19 I think. But very naive. From a small town. Had to leave his hometown and jump trains during the depression. There was no work at home. He went across Canada with his long time pal. They went all the way up the Pacific coast to the Yukon/Alaska. When they returned to Vancouver they joined the army. Then were sent back across the country to train. Then sent to England where they waited for years. Two pals. More like brothers. And then there was the invasion. And my father’s buddy died on the beach. (The details are vague because this is a story my father never told. I heard it from others in the family.) The only thing my dad said about the war was that guys were dropping all around him. (He said this in reference to war movies we watched where guys like John Wayne were great heroes. Didn’t happen that way.) My dad was wounded. Shrapnel. Sent to a hospital back in England for a couple of months. Then returned to the battle in the ambulance corps. Saw a lot of death. Returned to Canada and married my mother. I think he wanted normalcy. A nest. Someplace that was calm. (Never calm with my mother) Laughed about death. Didn’t think too much of it. He died of a heart attack in his sleep. Like he was shot.

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