Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Different kind of War story

My Grandad was a casualty of WWII.
He didn't die on the battlefield in a muddy mangled mess. He shot himself in his recruiting office in Halifax Nova Scotia. Deemed dishonorable we don't remember him the way we do those with medals. He was forever quieted and I don't even know where he was buried.
The following is my version of the little we know about the story:
David Fitzgerald Mitchell was an incredibly handsome, quiet, smart and warm man. He had many friends who adored him, parents who worshiped him and had he had married the Love of his life; Jacquie. They had one son, my dad. D.F (as I like to call him) was a recruiting officer for the Canadian army and was proudly sending troops to Europe to fight for the freedom of our great land.

The soldiers were young and  proud and full of hope for the job they were doing. I imagine them traveling with excitement of the adventure they were on. They had guns. What could possibly undermine their efforts? Their heads had been filled with the glory and glamor of travel in the greatest of uniforms..... Canadians through to the bone.

WW2, poppy, Canada, Flanders, rememberance day
Carrie Harper's Tissue Paper Poppies
The boats landed, the boys were slaughtered one by one. A blood and mud bath. letters came home to families-can you imagine the pain that came from every element of this horrific tale? The boys, their Loved ones and even us today as we remember what they did for us with their naive unknowing promise. I don't think this tale would have existed without naivety as..... who would sail into their own bloody demise? But the stories of those boys is for another to tell, I have no connection to them except my patriotism. My story is of another. a beautiful red haired man who was so overcome by his job of sending dreamy young to their demise that he imposed his own demise.

carrieharper, family, war, rememberance
David Fitzgerald Mitchell 3 yrs old
D.F.M.- I never met him. He was long gone by the time I was conceived. Yet his life has touched mine more than any other figure. We are kindred souls, he and I, woven together by our similarities. He took his own life and I had spent much of mine imagining of the same. Not any more, I should be clear. But there were years that I just wanted to vacate this Earthly war. I tried at least 4 times to move on to a bodiless place. Finally, the last time, as I woke up on the cold concrete floor of a little locked room I was told by an overwhelming force to "STOP TRYING, YOU HAVE THINGS TO DO YET". so I did, I have. I let go of the family curse. David Fitzgerald remains so close to me all the time; I can't, in fact sense where he ends and I begin. Instead of fear and depression I have delivered the two of us into eternal Love and forgiveness.
DFM in the striped jacket

No comments: