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..
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