Monday, April 25, 2011

Never to be forgotten...


25th April 1997
my sister and I were travelling through the beautiful countryside of France.

For us kiwis it was especially poignant.
It was ANZAC Day and in the green fields of France red poppies delighted us.
We recited the poem so well known to us..

In Flander's fields the poppies grow
between the crosses
row on row..

We sang
Haere ra.. Now is the hour..

It was a happy time.

Five days later we were in Nice. It was there I had the call from home.
Ross, my 18 year old son had been killed.
While driving home from Wintec a car had crossed the white line and taken his precious life.

A taxi took us to the Nice airport to begin the 36 hour flight home to a distraught father and brother.

In numb shock it seemed the world had turned black
and I focused on the red poppies that grew wild along the roadside to the airport.
I said to myself..
I will never forget these red poppies..
smudgy through tears.

On ANZAC Day red poppies will always hold a deep significance for me.

Lives of the young
needlessly lost

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  1. Oh Joan, I knew you had lost your son, but didn't know how or when. Life holds so much beauty, yet indescribable sadness. I'm so sorry you had to endure the almost unendurable. I have been meaning to tell you how much I love the phrase by Paramahansa Yogananda in your header. Life is a divine quest and Ross' quest goes on, as does yours, although on what seems to be distant shores. I'm very grateful that you allowed us in and shared this, on this Day for Resurrection.

  2. Such a heart-wrenching story Joan. This is your season of loss, so full of reminders. Much love to you.

  3. more tears after reading your poignant post Joan - I seem to have shed afew mixed with rain today. As always, i put my red poppy on the cenotaph for my Grandfather who fought in WW1, was totally in awe and tears after listening to a choir sing `The Lord Prayer` in Maori this morning on tv1- an emotional day,for you, I can only imagine how painful it is for you ...arohanui

  4. This is such a poignant tribute to your son, Ross, and your endearing memory of him. Oh, Joan, words escape me. I can only imagine the grief your felt and feel, still, and I will think of your Ross each time I see a red poppy. I bid you peace.

  5. I'm so sorry for your loss, Joan. There are no words...

  6. Heartbreaking . . . the loss of a child. What a poignant post.