And So This Is Christmas (thank you J.L.)

As Christmas approaches, it is once again the season for reflection. I am a bit of a ‘hoarder’ and as such enjoy reading through old correspondence occasionally. Today I read some letters from a former military comrade. In particular I read some that he wrote to me while he was posted to Sarajevo. See the image for an excerpt from one of those letters.

The letters reminded me of two things that are especially relevant right now.

  1. Bravery is not the lack of fear. It is all about simply going forward and doing the job despite how you may feel deep down inside. This holds true for all first responders like the fire fighters who worked day after day in Northern Ontario and California this summer. It certainly is true for our members of the Armed Forces and when I say ‘our’ I mean my Canadian colleagues as well as our allies. I am especially thinking of those Americans who are currently in chaos in Syria as they attempt to reconcile their glad anticipation of going home with the horrendous knowledge of a job and people about to be abandoned. I also think, of course, of the Allies left behind to somehow carry on in the vacuum.
  2. As a Canadian, I am continually thankful for this peace-loving, safe and beautiful country that I live in. I am free to think, speak and act as I choose as long as I don’t hurt others with my choices. I breathe fresh air. I drink abundant clean water. I live a charmed life and know how lucky I am to live it.

Reading my friend’s letter again, I think of today’s refugees attempting to simply find a safe place to live. I’m glad that Canada is a welcoming country and know that we as a society are better for being that way.

Thank you, Bill, for your letters of ’92 and ’93 that I can continue to read and be reminded about how lucky I am – in so many things, including the blessings of good friends.