Monday, 11 November 2013

Remembrance Day 2013

In Australia and several other countries, Remembrance Day is held on the 11th November. It is a day when we remember those who have sacrificed their lives in military service and it is customary to wear a red poppy in memory of that sacrifice.

 At 11am on the 11th November everyone stops for a minute of silence out of respect for those who died while fighting to protect our nation.
On Remembrance Day seven years ago I was in a supermarket observing the one minute silence when I got a phone call to say that my brother, who was in a hospice, was dying from lung cancer and that he wasn't expected to last much longer. He lived in another town so family members rushed to his bedside  to say our goodbyes. He died that night.

He was the sibling who was the closest in age to me and had a special place in my heart. He had always been a keen gardener and about thirty years ago had given me the gift of some Flanders Poppy seeds from his garden. Since that time we have always had a beautiful show of red poppies at the end of winter and in early spring in our garden. 
This year however, because the heat started at the beginning of spring and it was also very dry, the poppies came and went very quickly but those that did survive looked spectacular growing alongside the colourful California Poppies.   
Even when he was alive the poppies always reminded me of my brother when I would see them shooting up through the soil during winter. As he died on Remembrance Day, the Flanders Poppy now has extra special significance for me. The gift of seeds that he gave me years ago is a gift that keeps on giving.
Do any flowers have special significance for you like the Flanders Poppy does for me?


  1. They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them.

  2. What a beautiful story and so special that you have the Poppies grown from the seeds he gifted to you. Gerbera's are my favourite flower and featured in my wedding bouquet. Geraniums always remind me of my Nan because they grew everywhere at her place. I'm sure I will think of more :)

  3. What a lovely family story! For me it is the Hollyhock! My Daddy made hollyhock dolls out of them, my cousins kids even called him Uncle Hollyhock! This blogger has some great pics of them if you haven't seen them before -
    Thank you for sparking a memory for me and sharing yours!

  4. A wonderful story, Chel.


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