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Sunday, April 25, 2010
Sentimental Sundays With An Anzac Day Twist
Last November when visiting my hubby's Aunty (one of my 'sisters') I was overwhelmed when she offered me this ring. It belonged to her mother, hubby's Nanna, who we both adored. That in itself left me speechless and almost in tears. Then she told me the story behind the ring.
Her father had bought the stone home from the Middle East during WWII (she thinks it was in a brooch) when he returned from his tour of duty before heading off to New Guinea. Later they had it made into a ring. I don't know what the stone is, possibly a topaz or citrine and one day I will have it assessed so that I know. But even if it is just glass, it still will always have a special place in my heart.
I never got to meet my hubby's grandfather. He committed suicide when J was nearly 9 and my hubby was 4. They were together when they found him in the back shed. A bond that no two children should have to share.
I asked my father-in-law who was 18 years older then J, and knew more about what had happened post-war, about his Dad when I found out about how he died when doing some family research. It seems he never got over the war and what he saw and possibly did. He was a hairdresser who enlisted to help his country. He served in the Middle East and New Guinea - I can't imagine the horrors he must have seen, which obviously stayed with him. I believe he loved his wife and 3 children very much, but one day it all became too much for him to bear and so he chose to leave.
My ex-father-in-law, was also a WWII veteran, and I remember being told how all those years later when I first met him, he was still occasionally having nightmares about it all.
I don't know if it is any easier for men and women who choose to serve in the armed forces and train to do so, but it certainly does not seem that it was easy for those that were either conscripted or volunteered to help their country.
So when I look and wear this beautiful ring, my heart will be touched by sadness and by love.