“As we set today aside to honor and thank our veterans, let us be mindful that we should do this every day of the year and not just one.” – Beth Pennington
Today in Canada is Remembrance Day. Everyone remembers the veterans who were in wars and those who are still fighting to protect our rights and freedoms around the world. Today, I am remembering my grandfather Martin Siegfried who is my brave warrior. He drove a tank during the WWII. He never talked much about his time in the war. I think it is something he fought to leave in his past so the images and memories didn’t rear their ugly heads. On a day like today, I am especially mindful of how much my grandfather sacrificed to fight to protect the rights I have today as a woman with a disability.
Our world can often be focused on how far we have to go before everyone has all the rights and privileges that they deserve. However, today I choose to stop and pay reverence to all I have and those who fought to ensure that I could have them. I live in a country where I am free to write a blog to talk about difficult topics related to living with illness without censorship. I have insurance for medications that I need to stay healthy. I have qualified doctors who help me. I was able to become established in a career as an educator and principal so I am now provided with an income even though I can no longer work in my field.
I know my grandfather would be proud of the woman I am today and that I fight hard for the rights of all people living with an illness. He would be proud of how outspoken I am about those rights. My grandfather was always “my person.” I still talk to him regularly about problems I am having even though he is no longer with us in this world. I always picture us sitting on a bench in a garden of flowers that were always so beautifully tended to by him. I hope that you have a big bowl of ice cream Grandpa and that there are many horseshoe tournaments in heaven.
I will keep fighting in the only way I know how out of respect for my grandfather and all of the others who fought and still fight for me to have that right.
I will always remember.