Remembrance Day. It is a day to reflect and remember the soldiers who bravely fought for the freedom we enjoy today, and for the troops who continue to face battles to secure our safety and freedom now and in the future.

My Remembrance Day was a strange day. It was filled with celebration, sadness and a trip down memory lane. My husband celebrates his birthday on November 11, and so we planned family activities and a little celebration for the day (it is a statutory holiday in Bermuda) that included presents, candles and cake.

It was also the day that my step-grandfather died unexpectedly. Richard joined our family shortly after my grandfather passed away when I was a teenager. I loved my grandpa (Papa George) dearly and found it difficult to welcome and accept Richard. His death took me back to the time I shared with my grandpa ... walking along the railroad tracks, playing with my dog, travelling, learning woodworking skills ... My grandpa was a jovial character who was always willing to tell a joke and lend a helping hand.

Richard was mild-mannered and quiet, a man who preferred to listen to stories rather then tell them. I realized the day he died that he had been in my life almost as long as my grandpa. It was a strange realization since it had taken me many years (too many) to understand and appreciate that Richard was a good, patient companion for my grandma. Rest in peace, Richard.

(Photo from our trip to Italy 2012)

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